Window for DNA testing on sexual assault victims expands

With the evolution of DNA technology, law enforcement and health officials are learning the window for testing DNA on sexual assault victims may be longer than they originally thought.

At Regions Hospital in St. Paul, Minn., the old cut off for collecting DNA was five days after an assault. But in recent months, new data has come to light suggesting DNA can be collected up to 10 days after the assault occurred. 

“Having this expanded window is beneficial to really being able to help as many people as possible,” said Amy Stoesz, a medical director at Regions Hospital.

Hospital officials say they hope the evolution in policy will help more victims of sexual assault get the justice they deserve.