Jason Follette

Decades later,  56-year old Jason Follette of Gouldsboro is identified as the suspect in several 1990s assaults, marking him the first sex assault case solved in Maine using Forensic Genetic Genealogy.

Maine State Police began investigating a sexual assault on a 21-year-old woman in her own apartment in Hancock County, Maine, in 1996. DNA from an unidentified male was collected from the apartment where the assault occurred during the investigation. The unknown assailant was linked to at least four other assault cases using a STR profile created from the crime scene. An arrest warrant for “John Doe” in the 1996 case was issued in August 2022.

Several other agencies, in addition to the Maine State Police, were involved in this lengthy investigation. The Hancock County Sheriff’s Office, Maine Marine Patrol, and the Hancock District Attorney’s Office are among them. Many leads were pursued, and many people of interest were ruled out as suspects due to DNA testing, but the serial predator responsible for these crimes was never identified.

In 2022, the Maine State Police attempted, for the first time, to identify the unknown serial predator using advanced DNA testing and Forensic Genetic Genealogy. Othram was given forensic DNA evidence. Othram scientists used Forensic-Grade Genome Sequencing® to create a comprehensive DNA profile for the suspect, and the genealogical research was handled by Othram’s in-house genealogy team.

Jason Follette
Jason Follette

The investigation was continued after investigative leads were returned to Maine State Police detectives. Detectives were then able to identify Jason Follette, 56, as the suspect in the 1996 sexual assault. Follette is also suspected of assaulting several other women. The trauma of those attacks continues to affect the victims today. Because she survived the attack, the identity of the female victim in the 1996 case has been withheld for privacy reasons. She is now 47 years old.

Follette was arrested at a pier in Gouldsboro in November 2022. So far, he has been charged with one count of gross sexual assault. This is the first sexual assault case solved in Maine using Forensic Genetic Genealogy.

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