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Backlogged rape kit testing produces third indictment

Sophia Schmidt
Delaware Public Media
Delaware Attorney General Kathy Jennings announces the indictment of Jeffrey King Tuesday

Jeffrey King of Coatesville, Pennsylvania was arrested earlier this month for alleged rape of a woman near the University of Delaware in 1993. He is the third suspect indicted after being identified through an initative to test backlogged rape kits. 


The 1993 rape case had been considered cold. The rape kit was not tested for DNA until the case was reopened two years ago through the State’s Sexual Assault Kit Initative (SAKI). 

SAKI was first funded by a federal grant in 2015 to address a backlog of untested sexual assault kits in police departments across the First State. SAKI coordinator Michael Kelley says since then the backlog has been eliminated — with more than 800 kits tested and in various stages of investigation. 

“Many reasons why a lot of the kits weren’t tested were for the DNA purposes,” he said. “There was no DNA testing done at that time.”

Kelley says Jeffrey King’s arrest is the third made through the initiative. 

Delaware Attorney General Kathy Jennings emphasized the importance of victims coming forward to report rape and sexual assault.

“There can be no investigation or prosecution or conviction in a rape or sexual assault without the survivor who steps into the daunting world of the criminal justice system,” she said. 

King was identified as a suspect in the 1993 case through a DNA analysis by private company Parabon NanoLabs. Parabon predicted the physical appearance and ancestry of the suspect through a process called DNA phenotyping. Newark Police say the DNA profile collected from the rape kit did not match any in the FBI’s law enforcement DNA database called CODIS (Combined DNA Index System), but Parabon generated leads by searching various other databases including a public genealogy website.

A match was then made to King’s DNA through testing of a recently discarded item collected by investigators. 

Newark Police say King has posted $50,000 bail and is no longer detained in Howard R. Young Correctional Facility. 


Sophia Schmidt is a Delaware native. She comes to Delaware Public Media from NPR’s Weekend Edition in Washington, DC, where she produced arts, politics, science and culture interviews. She previously wrote about education and environment for The Berkshire Eagle in Pittsfield, MA. She graduated from Williams College, where she studied environmental policy and biology, and covered environmental events and local renewable energy for the college paper.
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