Mass DNA test fails to uncover school rapist

A police hunt that involved taking DNA samples from hundreds of male pupils and staff at a French school where a 16-year-old girl was raped last September failed to uncover the assailant, according to a statement from prosecutors.

The victim was attacked in the dark in the toilets at the 1,300-pupil Fenelon-Notre-Dame Catholic secondary school in the town of La Rochelle in western France last September, and was unable to identify her attacker.

However, police managed to retrieve samples of the person's DNA, their genetic 'fingerprint', from her clothing, and prosecutors decided to order mass DNA tests six months later in an effort to track down the assailant.

Police carried out 539 tests last month on schoolboys, teachers and staff who they believed could have been in the school at the time of the attack, but all were negative.

Prosecutor Isabelle Pagenelle said nonetheless that the investigation was continuing, with new lines of inquiry.

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