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A convicted rapist from Springfield Gardens will spend the next 23 years in jail for sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl in Cambria Heights 12 years ago.

The Queens District Attorney’s office announced on July 6 that John King, 32, was sentenced for the crime that occurred in 2004 in the vicinity of 116th Avenue.

The case went unsolved for the next 10 years until King’s DNA profile in the New York DNA Databank was positively matched to the sample obtained from the victim’s rape kit.

King’s DNA was in the databank because of a similar crime he committed. He was nearly finished serving his one-year sentence for the 2009 rape of a 16-year-old girl when, just a few days away from being released from prison, he was arrested for the 2004 rape.

District Attorney Richard A. Brown praised modern technology’s benefits in cases like this one. “DNA evidence that was collected from the rape victim at the time of the 2004 incident and stored in a database was able to convict this defendant. This case underscores the crucial importance of DNA evidence which is irrefutable proof of guilt or innocent,” he said.

The use of DNA may be making rapists think twice before committing such heinous crimes. According to Forensic Magaizne, the federal DNA Identification Act of 1994 lead to great DNA advances including increased review of laboratory methodology and validation processes, and the introduction of the FBI’s Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) forensic DNA database.

These technological advances may be a big factor in the major decrease of Queens rape cases since 1993, the year before the Act went into effect. According to the NYPD, the amount of reported Queens rapes have been cut in half since then; with 347 in 1993 and 148 in 2015.

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