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2100 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Berkeley, CA 94704
(510) 981-5900, TDD: (510) 981-5799, police@ci.berkeley.ca.us


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Contact:  Officer Joe Okies  #71

                 BPD Public Information Officer

                 (510) 981- 5752  


DNA Evidence Leads to Arrest in
1997 Rape Case

Berkeley, California (Tuesday July 5, 2005) – On Friday July 1st, Berkeley Police Department’s Sex Crimes Detail arrested Paul Mitchell of Berkeley for  rape and sexual assault stemming from a 1997 case. 

In the early morning hours of May 18th 1997 a 39 year old female was asleep in her apartment located in the 1900 block of El Dorado Avenue in Berkeley. The suspect broke into her apartment where he pinned the victim to her bed, covered her head and threatened her with a gun.  He then sexually assaulted her multiple times and raped her before fleeing. 

A full scale investigation was launched, however detectives were unable to identify a suspect based on the facts available to them at the time. 

On May 25th 2005 Berkeley Police were notified that the Department of Justice found a match in their DNA Database between Mitchell and the 1997 case.  Investigators reviewed the evidence from the initial investigation and were able to further connect Mitchell to the crime.  Through a combination of a thorough initial investigation and advances in technology it was possible to identify a criminal who had evaded detection for 8 years.

On Friday July 1st Berkeley Police Officers arrested Mitchell for burglary, rape, and multiple counts of sexual assault. 

Sgt. Alyson Hart of the sex crimes detail said, “The use of new technology combined with effective investigative tools has helped to identify Mitchell as the suspect in this brutal attack, and hold him accountable for his crime.  The Department of Justice Database was instrumental in bringing closure to this case.”

Berkeley Police Department worked closely with John Adams of the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office in filing the charges in this case.