Genetic genealogy is a technology that can be used to track criminals, using DNA samples retrieved from crime scenes and connecting it to relatives and then to the actual perpetrator. The novel method has been used to apprehend several notorious decades-old murders and cold cases, involving the Golden State Killer and the Angie Dodge murderer, among others. What happens is, genealogists, upload the DNA sequences to a massive database of genetic profiles. After that, detectives trace the relatives of the criminal and finally zero in on the real wrong-doer. One of the cases that were solved using this technology was the Utah rape case of Carla Brooks. And here is everything we know about it.
The Carla Brooks Rape Case
In April 2018, 79-year-old Carla Brooks was in deep sleep within the safety of her home in St. George, Utah. However, when she was stirred awake by someone stroking her hair, she witnessed a shadowy figure. Before she could even scream for help, the stranger gagged her mouth with a rag and sexually assaulted her. According to Brooks, rape is a portrayal of power and it can happen to anyone, irrespective of the victim’s age. When the intruder left her home, she called 911 and the investigations kicked off. Although the authorities are under oath not to reveal the names of rape survivors, Brooks insisted that they openly mention her name — in order to create awareness.
Who Was Carla Brooks’ Rapist?
Brooks was a bit let down when the attacker’s DNA did not match with the names in local and statewide databases. But when the detectives employed the use of genetic genealogy, the rapist was identified almost instantly. In July 2018, the then 31-year-old Spencer Glen Monnett from Hurricane was arrested for the rape of Carla Brooks. Monnet faced charges for a first-degree felony, rape, and object rape, alongside second-degree felony and misdemeanor.
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Spencer Glen Monnett Trial
In 2019, Monnet pleaded guilty to object rape and burglary. Other charges also included forcible sex abuse and rape. After his trial and subsequent hearing, Monnet was sentenced to at least six years of jail in the Utah State Prison. At this long and emotional trial, Brooks was also present and she asked him if he remembered the hurt that he had enforced on her on the night of the incident. She went on to describe her despair, fear, and depression, following the attack. Brooks finally said that she forgave him and wished him a good life in the future.
Brooks said: “I’m glad I couldn’t see your face that night so I can look at you today with no fear and move forward from this day on. You will leave here today with many high hurdles in front of you. I hope you will work hard because I want you to do well. I hope you get the treatment you need to get rid of the darkness that drove you to come into my home.”
Monnett had no serious criminal history but he revealed that he was a porn addict from his pre-teen years. He explained that he wanted to be treated for his addiction and any other related mental health issues. [Feature Image Credits: ABC News]
Read More: Where is Spencer Glen Monnett Today?