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DNA analysis breaks 18-year-old West Palm Beach rape case

Posted: 2:26 PM, Nov 28, 2018
Updated: 2018-11-29 10:21:47Z

DNA analysis from a sexual assault kit collected 18 years ago resulted in the arrest of a man accused of sexual battery and kidnapping in West Palm Beach.

This arrest is the result of a $1 million project by the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office to test a backlog of about 1,500 unanalyzed sexual assault kits.

According to West Palm Beach police, on March 18, 2000, a 17-year-old girl called police and reported being raped and held against her will in a West Palm Beach hotel room.

A sexual assault kit was collected from the victim that day.

The kit wasn't tested until it was sent for DNA analysis on or about April 17, 2017, according to police.

On Aug. 23, 2018, the Forensic Biology Unit and the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office Crime Laboratory provided a report.

Per the report, a major DNA profile was obtained from the sexual assault kit and entered in the State of Florida DNA database.

On Sept. 15, 2018, the Forensic Biology Unit provided a second report, which detailed a preliminary association between the DNA sample and Michael Hunter. Hunter was 31-years-old  at the time of the assault.

On Oct. 26, 2018, the victim was shown photographs of Michael Hunter. She said she never met Hunter prior to the attack and she has never had consensual sex with him.

On Nov. 20, 2018, a detective spoke with Hunter on the telephone. He claimed he was not involved in the case and refused to meet with the detective.

Hunter was arrested and charged with sexual battery and kidnapping during the commission of a felony.