A teenage girl claimed she was raped in a dark bathroom in her Catholic high school in La Rochelle, France — and now, in order to find the identity of the culprit, French police have ordered 475 male students and 52 male staff members to hand over DNA samples.
Anyone who refuses to comply will be considered a potential suspect and possibly face immediate arrest, according to the Associated Press. So far, no one has refused.
DNA testing will take place this week for the 527 male suspects at Fenelon-Notre Dame High School. Investigators told reporters that the comprehensive testing was the only way to generate new leads in the case.
The girl did not know who her attacker was, and the genetic evidence recovered from her clothing did not match anyone in the French DNA database. About three percent of French citizens are in the database.
Authorities promised to discard any DNA evidence that did not match the suspect.
“This happened during the school day in a confined space,” said Chantal Devaux, the school’s director, in a statement. “The decision to take such a large sample was made because it was the only way to advance the investigation.”
The girl is in favor of comprehensive DNA testing.
“The choice is simple for me,” said the girl in a statement. “Either I file it away and wait for a match in what could be several years, or I go looking for the match myself.”