Philadelphia Eagles football player Josh Sills was recently indicted by a grand jury and arrested for allegedly raping and kidnapping a woman in Ohio in December 2019. The team immediately suspended him; otherwise, Mr. Sills would have suited up for the Super Bowl in two weeks.
The case presents several interesting questions. First, the investigation was uncommonly lengthy. Law enforcement spokespeople explained that “The crime was immediately reported, and the Guernsey County Sheriff’s Office conducted a detailed investigation.” That detailed investigation evidently took over three years to complete, for some reason. This is not the typical length of a rape investigation; indeed, it is an extraordinarily long time to investigate a rape accusation. A few things might have been going on during that three year time period.
First, there might have been DNA to analyze. Not every rape investigation involves DNA evidence, and DNA does not necessarily prove that a rape occurred at all, anyway (as DNA evidence could also indicate a consensual sexual encounter). Generally speaking, though, DNA analyses do not normally take more than a few months to process – it depends entirely on the state laboratory’s backlog.