New DNA technique credited with helping lock child rapist up for 35 years

Child rapist sentenced to prison
Published: Sep. 14, 2017 at 12:55 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 14, 2017 at 2:25 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Justin Christian, the first man tracked down by familial DNA, pleaded guilty in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court Thursday and was sentenced to 35 years in prison.

Christian admitted to attempting to abduct a 10-year-old Elyria girl in Feb. 2016, and then kidnapping a 6-year-old from Cleveland in May 2016. He was convicted of rape, kidnapping, aggravated burglary and tampering with evidence.

After the sentencing, officials discussed the familial DNA technique that led them to Christian. In short, they had DNA from the person who raped the 6-year-old. However, after searching the state DNA database, there was no match.

That led to the use of the new technique: familial DNA. A match was found with several people, who in some way, are related to Christian. After investigation and interrogation, Christian was located and arrested.

Until the new test was performed, all investigators had was a shadowy video of a man near the home of one of the victims.

Christian will serve his sentence without parole eligibility.

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