Civil rights advocates disagree with what one group is calling a “DNA dragnet” to find the man who raped and murdered a woman three years ago in a small seaside community in Cape Cod.

Police have asked the nearly 800 men who live in the town to voluntarily produce DNA samples—collected by swabbing cheek cells—to find a match for the semen found on fashion writer Christa Worthington’s body. They are approaching the men in public and have said they will closely watch those who refuse the test.

Carol Rose, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachussetts, argues that the request coerces people into submitting to a DNA test and invades their personal privacy. She also notes that it is not known whether some or all of the samples might be entered into a state or federal DNA database without the donors’ knowledge.

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