Catching rape suspects is hard work, especially if the suspect is a stranger to the victim. Quite often DNA evidence needed to catch the predator has been destroyed or is only in minute amounts. But that’s all about to change.
Now that the first Black chemistry professor was awarded $324,000 to catch rapists using evidence other than just DNA, they are going to have to work a lot harder.
Rickey Smiley reports:
Dr. Candice Bridge, a proud Howard University alum, was only 25-years old when she completed her Ph.D. in forensic science at the University of Central Florida (UCF). She was one of the first in the U.S. to earn the degree and went on to become both UCF’s and Howard’s first Black female chemistry professor.
Armed with her new grant, Dr. Bridge will lead a team of 11 students in researching lubricants exchanged during sexual assaults, toxicology, drugs, and gunshot debris. She explained in a press release the significance of this study:
“This grant will enable us to conduct research into a unique new means of identifying perpetrators of sexual assault when traditional DNA evidence doesn’t exist,” Dr. Bridge says. “It’s an important line of research that has become even more important as rapists attempt to elude capture by covering their DNA tracks after an assault,” she adds.
In addition to monetary support, Bridge and her team will have access to FBI-rated research tools including a select number of government-funded laboratories. She will also create a website through the Orlando Public Defender’s Office to provide defense attorneys and prosecutors more resources regarding the ins-and-outs of forensic science analysis.
If Bridge puts the same effort, drive, and tenacity into this project as she has in all of her other endeavors, rapists will soon have only two options left where their menace-making ways are concerned: either get help or get caught.