DNA is widely used as evidence in criminal trials. In Wisconsin and across the country, this DNA evidence can be used in two ways: either to link an individual to a crime, or to prove his or her innocence. While DNA testing can be accurate, there are times when this evidence should be challenged. A man in Wisconsin is currently struggling with this very battle, as he has been accused of a crime that occurred more than 20 years ago. It was alleged that in 1989 he sexually assaulted a 12-year-old girl.
Since the alleged sexual assault occurred over two decades ago, how did this man end up linked to the crime now? The answer is simple: DNA. This criminal trial cannot move forward to prosecution, however, because too much time has passed since the incident occurred.
Instead, the alleged victim filed a civil lawsuit against the defendant, and if a settlement is not reached soon, the case will go to trial. The defendant reported to a judge that he has attempted to reach an agreement with the victim; however, she is not willing to settle. During a pretrial conference, he explained that he offered an apology and an undisclosed amount of money to the victim, who apparently did not respond.
The woman is 35 years old now and lives in Green Bay. She filed the civil lawsuit after the suspect's DNA was extracted from the clothing she was wearing on the day of the alleged sexual assault. The outcome of this case remains to be seen, but Wisconsin residents who are facing criminal charges linked to DNA evidence should be aware of every option for fighting the allegations.
Source: postcrescent.com, " Lawsuit moves ahead against Roman A. Zareczny in 1989 Appleton child sexual assault," Jim Collar, June 18, 2012