A Colorado soldier has been arrested in Alabama for allegedly sexually assaulting a girl. According to police, he coaxed her into his vehicle after she got off the school bus, assaulted and then abandoned. Now he faces charges outside of his home state.

This case illustrates how national sex offender registries and DNA databases are used to link offenses in different states. In this instance, police officers in Alabama collected DNA evidence from the victim. The suspect was arrested for other sex crimes in Colorado and had his DNA tested. A national database alerted Alabama law enforcement officials to a match.

DNA evidence is held in fairly high esteem by courts and experts but it is not foolproof. Error in the collection, processing or interpretation of DNA evidence can lead to wrongful convictions. Such convictions sometimes may be thrown out by newer evidence or challenged on appeal.

Charges of sex crimes can come with a range of serious penalties, ranging from fines to prison time to lifelong registration requirements that dictate where offenders can live. A criminal record can also affect future employment prospects, professional licenses and other opportunities.

If you are facing charges or accusations of a crime, it is critical that you contact an aggressive criminal defense attorney as soon as you can. They can help you ensure that your rights are protected in the criminal justice system while building a strong defense against your charges and working with you to secure the best possible outcome.

Source: Fox 54, “Colorado Soldier Linked by DNA to Madison Crime,” Jan. 4, 2013