CHICAGO (CBS) — Two brothers were being held without bond Wednesday, charged in a series of brutal sexual assaults dating back more than a decade.
CBS 2’s Mike Puccinelli reports 38-year-old Leondo Joseph and 29-year-old LB Joseph have been charged in a handful of sexual assaults, after DNA testing linked them to the rapes dating from 2003 to 2012. Leondo Joseph was charged in six attacks; LB Joseph in two.READ MORE: South Shore Woman Sees Police Activity After Shooting Leaves Man Dead, Only To Find Out It Was Her Own Beloved Brother
Leondo Joseph was arrested Saturday night at his North Side home. Police said he broke into women’s homes in the Lakeview neighborhood, and raped them after threatening their lives, often while armed with a weapon.
His younger brother allegedly took part in two attacks which happened in vehicles.
DNA collection activists said some of the rapes likely wouldn’t have happened if the Joseph brothers had been swabbed for DNA samples when they were arrested numerous times for non-felony offenses during the time span when they allegedly were committing the rapes.
Forcible DNA swabbing upon arrest is illegal in misdemeanor cases in Illinois.
Some said this case proves anyone arrested on criminal charges should have to provide a DNA sample to police.READ MORE: After Witnessing Shooting On West Side, Wicker Park Woman Says Her Family No Longer Feels Safe And Is Moving From The City
“It’s kind of a harmless thing to have to do, and I don’t think it really is that much of a stretch to have to ask if we do that from now on, as long as it identifies certain people,” said Lincoln Park resident Max Baire.
He said stopping another rape or other violent crime would trump privacy concerns from collecting DNA from anyone arrested by police.
However, Lincoln Park resident Phil Tetley said gathering DNA evidence from someone charged with a crime should not be automatic.
“I think the court should also have to have a certain amount of evidence to approve DNA attainment,” he said.
He said suspects are considered innocent until proven guilty, and shouldn’t be forced to provide DNA samples just because they’ve been charged with a crime.
“This exposed the fact that there are probably things in the DNA world that we can do a little differently,” said Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart. “The labs have said they’re overwhelmed. They have so much information that’s given to them, and there needs to be an expansion there,” Dart said.MORE NEWS: Pfizer Says COVID-19 Vaccine More Than 90% Effective At Protecting Kids
Sheriff Dart says – as a result of the joseph brothers arrests – he will be working to draft a bill that requires *all* inmates be swabbed for DNA samples. But Dart goes on to say that until there’s money to expand lab resources and hire data analysts, collecting DNA only makes more work.