Biologist Says Suspect's Dna Matches Stains On Rape Victim

March 13, 1991

A molecular biologist testified in the rape trial of Willie Lee Small on Monday that lab tests showed that DNA taken from Small's blood matched DNA extracted from semen stains on the victim's underwear.

Dr. Charlotte Word, of the Germantown testing facility Cellmark, testified that the probability of another person with a DNA profile matching Small was about 1 in 360,000.

The biologist explained to the Circuit Court jury the process by which they take an individual's DNA, the cellular material that determines an individual's genetic makeup, and prepare it for identification purposes in criminal investigations.

The purpose of the testimony is to help the jury decide if Small, whose trial began Friday, isguilty of raping and sexually assaulting a 30-year-old Columbia woman on May 27.

In the trial's opening day, the victim testified thatshe was repeatedly raped and sexually assaulted in her home on May 27 by a man who threatened her with a knife. Her 6-year old daughter slept in her room across the hall during the attack.

Ordered by herassailant not to look at his face, the woman took note of other distinguishing characteristics, such as his scarred back and black athletic shoes, she said.

The woman identified Small as her attacker from police photos of the scarring on his back.

Small, 33, who lives in the victim's apartment building in the Village of Long Reach, has pleaded not guilty to the 14 charges against him, including several counts of first-degree rape and other sexual offenses.

If convicted, he faces a life sentence.

The trial, before Circuit Judge Cornelius F. Sybert, is expected to conclude today, following presentation of the defense's case.

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