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DNA cracks Sacramento rape cases from the 1990s

By Nicholas Sakelaris

July 2 (UPI) -- A former corrections officer was arrested in connection with three rapes in the Sacramento area more than 20 years ago.

DNA evidence led detectives to Mark Manteuffel, 59, who lived in Decatur, Ga. He was arrested Friday and is expected to be extradited to Sacramento to face multiple charges, including torture and rape.

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Police matched DNA from the crime scenes and rape kits to a profile assembled from a genetic testing company. The genetic profile could have been Manteuffel or a family member. Detectives used a similar method to catch the so-called "Golden State Killer," who was wanted for the 1976 murder of a college student.

Manteuffel attended California State University Sacramento and worked as a part-time lecturer on criminal justice at the time the crimes were committed. No suspect was named in the 1990s when the crimes occurred. But charges were filed against an anonymous snippet of DNA code in 2000 just before the statute of limitations ran out.

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It's the first time in California that DNA was charged with a crime. The California Supreme Court upheld the practice in 2010.

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"This case is about a forward-thinking DNA analyst from our crime lab who knew the value of preserving rape kits far longer than the law required at the time," Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert said.

The first case involved a college student who was out jogging in January 1994 when she was grabbed by a masked man. He used a stun gun to drag her away and assaulted her, said Yolo County District Attorney Jeff Reisig.

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The second case involved a 52-year-old woman who was assaulted as she walked into her home in May 1992. The attacker had been lying in wait for several hours.

Manteuffel most recently worked as an administrator at a correctional facility in Miami but he retired in 2014.

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