- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 15, 2014

French authorities investigating a campus rape started collecting DNA from 527 male students and staffers at the Fenelon-Notre Dame high school in the western region, telling them they could either provide the samples or face arrest.

So far, nobody has protested the DNA collection at the school, a private Roman Catholic facility, the New York Post reported.

The sample tests began Monday and are expected to last through Wednesday. Investigators say they can’t find any other way to learn the identity of the suspect who raped a girl in a dark bathroom at the school more than six months ago.

“The choice is simple for me,” the victim said, the New York Post reported. “Either I file it away and wait for a match in what could be several years, or I go looking for the match myself.”

DNA collection isn’t unheard of in France — but school children are normally considered off-limits, the New York Post reported. But this situation has pushed investigators to take drastic steps, police and school administrators said.

“This happened during the school day in a confined space,” said Chantal Devaux, the director of the school, in the New York Post. “The decision to take such a large sample was made because it was the only way to advance the investigation.”

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