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City of Colorado Springs / Police / News

DNA Helps Solve 2007 Sexual Assault Case


Thursday, November 8, 2012, 2:00 PM [RELEASE AT WILL]

On January 25, 2007, a CSPD officer contacted the victim of a sexual assault.  The victim advised that a male she had met and dated only once, about six months earlier had sexually assaulted her.  The victim stated that after going on one date with the suspect, she met her current boyfriend.   At that time, she told the suspect that she would remain friends with him, but no longer wished to date him. 

When the victim’s boyfriend deployed to Iraq, the suspect contacted the victim, allegedly to check on her welfare.  The two went out to play pool and then the victim invited the suspect back to her home to show him a care package she prepared for her boyfriend.  The victim said she had a few drinks but did not remember anything until waking up the following morning and discovering she had been sexually assaulted.  Forensic evidence was collected at that time.

On March 17, 2010, the case was reviewed by a cold case investigator and new leads were pursued.  Additional evidence analysis produced a DNA match to the suspect.  An arrest warrant was obtained, and on 10-24-12 the suspect, 35 year old Colorado Springs resident Daniel Robert Gostnell, was arrested for the sexual assault.

 {Some of the work accomplished  that resulted in this arrest was funded by a federal grant.  The Colorado Springs Police Department applied for and received federal funding to re-examine unsolved “cold” sexual assault and homicide cases.  The $464,724 grant was awarded in 2009 from the National Institute of Justice under a program called “Solving Cold Cases with DNA.” The focus of re-examining cases under this grant has been identifying any biological evidence that could have DNA testing done to find a possible match with known offender DNA in the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) database.}