Dr Jonathan Rogers responds to a report about a woman born after rape who wants to use her DNA to prosecute her father

It is not so surprising that the Crown Prosecution Service is reluctant to rely on potential DNA evidence alone in this case (Woman born after rape wants to use her DNA to prosecute father, 6 August). The prosecution would still need to prove that the 13-year-old victim did not consent in order to establish rape, and it is therefore a problem that the victim is unwilling to testify.

The unexplored question is why the father cannot be prosecuted for unlawful sexual intercourse (ie sex with an underage girl), which would have been the applicable offence in the 1970s. Your article suggests that there is more than enough evidence to justify his arrest, and then a DNA sample could be taken. If the samples were to match sufficiently strongly, a prosecution could commence without any involvement of the victim.

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