Spokane Police say that a tissue sample from an aborted fetus may hold the key evidence in proving that a 21-year-old man raped a 15-year-old girl.
And on Monday this week, officers showed up at Planned Parenthood with a warrant to get that evidence.The alleged rapist has been identified by police, but he has yet to be charged with a crime, so we won't name him.
The girl in the case is said to have become pregnant last month. And when her parents learned of it, they immediately brought her to Planned Parenthood for an abortion.
The man has denied all allegations, but police believe that a DNA test of the fetus will prove once and for all who the father is and if he'll be going to jail.
Seattle Weekly obtained a copy of the search warrant, and the narrative in it describes repeated consensual sexual encounters between the girl and the young man.
The affidavit says that the victim, "T.J.," went with the accused man and his friends to a campsite near Butte, Mont., over the 4th of July weekend and had protected sex twice with the man. A week or two later T.J. said she stayed over at the man's apartment and had more sex (again, with a condom) with him. And a couple of weeks later, T.J. supposedly spent "several days and nights" at the man's house where they had sex at least six times without a condom.
Later T.J. found out she was pregnant and told her parents, who set up the abortion and also obtained a sexual-assault-protection order against the man.
It's unclear who specifically informed police.
UPDATE: Spokane Police spokesperson Jennifer DeRuwe tells us that the parents did in fact inform police about the case. She says it's been a "very tragic situation for the family," and that even if the family hadn't been supportive of an investigation, they would have launched one.
At any rate, it's a matter of weeks now until a DNA test determines who fathered T.J.'s child. And if it's who the police think it is, he could be headed to prison for up to five years.
It's notable that if the man were two years younger, he would have been within the 48-month legal difference in age, and not have committed any crime.