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Name: People v. Robinson
Case #: C044703
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 10/26/2007
Subsequent History: 2/13/08 rev. granted (S158528)
Summary

The statute of limitations for a sex offense is satisfied when the prosecution is commenced within the period of limitations by the filing of an arrest warrant predicated upon the identification of the perpetrator by a DNA profile. The offenses in this case occurred on August 25, 1994. On August 21, 2000, four days before the expiration of the statute of limitations, the prosecutor filed a felony complaint against John Doe, describing him by DNA profile developed by semen taken from the victim. The next day, an arrest warrant issued which incorporated the DNA profile. Three weeks later, Robinson’s name was obtained from a DNA match from the state’s DNA bank, and he was arrested on the warrant. Following his conviction, Robinson contended on appeal that the issuance of a John Doe/DNA arrest warrant failed to toll the statute of limitations, and the use of such a warrant to toll the statutory period violated his right to due process. The appellate court rejected the argument, holding that the arrest warrant which described the person to be arrested by his DNA profile satisfied the statute of limitations. Further, there was no due process violation as Robinson failed to establish the prejudice resulting from the three week delay between the issuance of the warrant and his arrest. Since Robinson’s sole defense was to contest the reliability of the DNA evidence, his ability to defend against the charges was not impaired by the passage of time.