Rape Charges

The Kansas Supreme Court has dismissed a series of arrest warrants for a rape suspect known only by his DNA.

In its decision Friday, the court said the warrants against
death-row inmate Douglas Belt for seven rapes between 1989 and 1994 were not specific enough to meet legal standards.

But prosecutors stressed that the court largely upheld the
legality of so-called ``John Doe'' warrants.

That's when prosecutors don't know a suspect's name but wish to preserve the five-year statute of limitations for charging someone in a rape case by charging their DNA.

One of the seven warrants was filed in 1991 in McPherson County
and was the first in the nation to attempt to charge an unknown
suspect through his DNA.

The Supreme Court ruled Friday that the warrant was invalid
because it didn't fully detail the DNA profile's makeup.

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