Baby blood used to convict pedophile of 1996 rape sparks ethical debate: ... trends now

Baby blood used to convict pedophile of 1996 rape sparks ethical debate: ... trends now
Baby blood used to convict pedophile of 1996 rape sparks ethical debate: ... trends now

Baby blood used to convict pedophile of 1996 rape sparks ethical debate: ... trends now

A child rapist was convicted in New Jersey nearly three decades after committing his crimes - using the blood of his own child.

In 2021, Brian Avis, 61, was convicted of sexually molesting a 10-year-old girl in 1996 after New Jersey police analyzed the DNA of Avis' child, who was born in 2012.

A little-known rule means that every baby born in New Jersey's DNA is harvested for 23 years and can be used by law enforcement without a warrant.

DailyMail.com revealed this week that similar laws - lawyers have said violate Americans' Fourth Amendment - are in place in all but eight states, which has sparked an ethical debate.

California, Arizona, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota and Tennessee store the baby blood indefinitely. 

While the number of crimes solved with newborn DNA is unknown, New Jersey police have opened the lab five times, and California has done the same, resulting in one arrest.

In 2021, Brian Avis, 61, was convicted of sexually molesting a 10-year-old girl in 1996 after New Jersey police analyzed the DNA of Avis' child, who was born in 2012

In 2021, Brian Avis, 61, was convicted of sexually molesting a 10-year-old girl in 1996 after New Jersey police analyzed the DNA of Avis' child, who was born in 2012 

Institute for Justice (IJ) attorney Brian Morris told DailyMail.com: 'There are constitutional ways to solve crimes.

'That's what New Jersey should be doing. Of course, if every American had to turn over their DNA and fingerprints, it might be easier for police to solve crimes.

'But that's why we have the Fourth Amendment. The Founders rejected the idea that the King could take whatever or whomever he wanted.

'But that's what New Jersey is doing here. And it's taking from our most vulnerable and innocent population - babies. 

Many states offer parents the option to have samples destroyed after testing is completed, but many do not.

Nebraska, New Hampshire, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Virginia and Wisconsin do not provide a form for destruction.

All 50 US states mandate newborn genetic screening within 48 hours of the child's birth to test for rare disease, which is sent to a  government-owned lab for testing. 

However, the leftover samples are shipped to warehouses where police officers can access them when needed or sold to third-party researchers - and most states do not require a parent's consent.

The leftover blood samples are shipped off to places where police officers can access them when needed or sold to third-party researchers - and most states do not require a parent's consent

The leftover blood samples are shipped off to places where police officers can access them when needed or sold to third-party researchers - and most states do not require a parent's consent

All 50 US states mandate newborn genetic screening within 48 hours of the child's birth and retain blood until either the tests are completed or indefinitely

All 50 US states mandate newborn genetic screening within 48 hours of the child's birth and retain blood until either the tests are completed or indefinitely

State police sequence the DNA and run a further analysis using investigating genetic genealogy.

The sample is then uploaded to a genetic database to identify relatives of unknown suspects, which narrows down the search.

New Jersey's incidents have recently come to light in recent lawsuits sparked by a 1996 cold case resolution that came about through the use of DNA.

Avis has not been named in the 2022 news regarding police obtaining DNA samples, but his case matches the same crimes and was solved through DNA linking.

News broke in 2022 that law enforcement used blood taken from an infant to link the child's father to a 1996 sexual assault case. 

DailyMail.com has contacted the Atlantic County Prosecutors Office for comment. 

Avis was accused of breaking into a home on East Evans Boulevard and assaulting the sleeping child in 1996.

'When the victim woke up, the suspect fled the scene,' according to a 2021 press release from the New Jersey State Police. 

Detectives collected evidence at the scene and obtained a DNA sample of the suspect from the victim's bed.

Avis had a DNA profile created in 2002, which was then uploaded

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