Technology that reveals the DNA of the assailant combats sexual crimes in Minas

A new tool will contribute to the attempt Identifying perpetrators of sexual violence in Minas Gerais. The equipment can be used due to a master’s degree in genetics conducted by civil police expert Giovanni Vitral Pinto, in Institute of Biological Sciences (ICB) from Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG). In addition to being a means of making it possible to discover who committed the crime, another goal of this technology is to prevent future offenders from working, thus reducing the sense of impunity.

+ It is absolutely necessary to punish the aggressor, says rape victim

In the first three months of 2022 alone, 783 records of rape were recorded across the state, according to the report. Public Security Observatory and the Minister of State for Justice and Public Security (Sejusp-MG).

Recently, the Technical Department of Legal Biology and Bacteriology of the Institute of Criminal Criminology of the Civil Police received a copy of the MiSeq FGX Forensic Genomic System. The great advantage of this tool, Vitral explains, is the improvement in the process of recognizing DNA samples.

“We have in the laboratory a technology called the ‘gold standard’, which is used in all genetic laboratories in Brazil and in the world. In 2019, shortly after the collapse of the dam in Brumadinho, we acquired equipment with a different technology, which is an arrangement device (for genetic material) ‘ Says the expert the time.

To understand more about this technology, which is a first in the Police Science Lab, Vitral earned a master’s degree at UFMG for using the knowledge in action. “The new equipment is able to separate the DNA of the victim and the aggressor and identify what we call the ‘allele’, allowing us to know the contribution (genetic material) made by the aggressor or victim.”

This technique has already been applied, but since it is still new, it has not been possible to achieve practical results. “It could make it possible to identify the authors. The use of this technique is recent. We still haven’t had any results. We need to use it in moderation.” This happens, according to Vitral, because of the cost of analyzing samples and genetic material.

“We need to collect 96 samples in order to run the race. The cost of the analysis is between R$30,000 and R$40,000. If we do it with just one, it will come out at the same price, and we must remember that it is public money in terms of cost.”

Reduce the feeling of impunity

In addition to making it possible to identify sex offenders, the new technology will be an ally to reduce the sense of impunity in relation to these crimes. We know that what contributed to the failure of the crime was not even the punishment. If this were the case, countries where the death penalty and life imprisonment were applied would not practice the crime. What can stop you is the chance that you know (who the author is),” Vitral analyzes.

The expert goes on to point out that the technique used exclusively by the investigative police in Minas Gerais can raise questions before the perpetrator commits sexual violence. “When an individual commits the crime, he can think of the chance of his arrest. We are used to impunity in the country. To have more access to him, he will wonder if it will compensate for such an act, because the civil police now have more tools to identify the offender. sexual.”

Sexual violence in Minas Gerais caused at least 3,945 victims in 2021. This means that approximately 11 people were raped in the municipalities of Minas Gerais. From January to March 2022 alone, the number is 783. This data is from official records and is included in the Open Data Portal, operated by the Public Security Observatory and Sejusp-MG.

Stained glass reinforces the importance and necessity of punishing the perpetrators of these crimes. “Reducing impunity can contribute to reducing sexual crimes. We believe that as the tool matures, we will achieve satisfactory results over time,” he concludes.

Other forms of identification

Sexual crime investigations are not limited to using the tool that Vitral has studied. Civilian police delegate Isabella Franca explains that even without collecting genetic material, the work is carried out, but using another methodology.

“Many cases of rape come to us long afterwards. This makes it impossible to collect the genetic material, as it must occur close to the date of the event. Other forms of professional investigations we do, but we cannot detail them for security reasons.”

The delegate advises victims to search for health units and the police station as soon as possible so that the genetic material can be collected. In some cases, the suspect leaves no “trace” and makes the work more difficult.

“We have five referral hospitals (see below) in Belo Horizonte, where the victim will find a support network. Another way to seek help is at a specialized sexual violence police station (Address below). A multidisciplinary team is available to welcome and provide referrals. Report it as soon as possible so that we can conduct a successful investigation.”

Sexual violence in Minas Gerais

See records of rape and rape of vulnerable crimes in Minas Gerais in the past 10 years and in the first three months of 2022:

  • 2012 – 4206
  • 2013 – 4190
  • 2014 – 4081
  • 2015 – 4066
  • 2016 – 4319
  • 2017 – 4901
  • 2018 – 4956
  • 2019 – 4393
  • 2020 – 3668
  • 2021 – 3945
  • 2022 (January to March) – 783

Source: Public Security Observatory / Minister of State for Justice and Public Security (Sejusp)

Rejection and reception

Find out where to report and receive medical care in the event of sexual violence in the capital of Minas Gerais:

  • Police specialized in combating sexual violence

Avenida Barbacina, 288, Barro Preto neighborhood, in Belo Horizonte

Rua Formiga, 50, São Cristovao neighborhood

  • Julia Kubitschek Hospital

Dr. Cristiano Resende Street, 2745, Millionarios District

Avenida de Contorno, 9494, Prado district

Avenida Professor Alfredo Ballina, 110, Santa Iphigenia District

  • Resolita Tolentino Neves Hospital

Rua das Jaberobas, 1, Villa Clores neighborhood

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