Jury deliberations to resume in '02 rape

DNA led to charging of man in Arundel case

December 07, 2007|By Nicole Fuller | Nicole Fuller,SUN REPORTER

Anne Arundel County detectives had cataloged the evidence found at the scene of the rape of a 19-year-old Russian woman working in the United States: her torn bra, her black pants and underwear, her wallet and her visor, which she wore while she worked at a McDonald's.

But DNA evidence taken from the victim, prosecutors said, provided the "absolute, objective science" with which to convict Kelroy Williamson, 39, of the 800 block of Jeffrey St. in Baltimore of the 2002 rape of the Russian woman.

Williamson is charged with first-degree rape and assault.

"He is the man that made her stop fighting because she wanted to live," Assistant State's Attorney Kathleen E. Rogers told jurors yesterday during closing arguments. "He is the man that left her ravaged, unconscious body in the woods. He is the man that every piece of evidence points to."

The case in county Circuit Court before Judge Paul A. Hackner began Monday. Jurors were expected to continue deliberating today.

On the day of the attack, the 19-year-old was walking to work at a Severn McDonald's from her home in Pioneer City where she lived with others while she was part of a job-exchange program. Prosecutors said it was about 5 a.m. Sept. 21, 2002, when she was pulled into a wooded area and beaten, choked and attacked.

For years, the case went unsolved. Last year, police said, they got a break in the case when Williamson's DNA, which had been collected for a 1994 rape case that has since been resolved, was entered into the FBI's national DNA database. Williamson's 1994 sample matched the DNA in the 2002 rape, and he was arrested and charged, prosecutors said.

The woman returned to Russia about two weeks after the assault but returned to the United States to testify against Williamson. The Sun does not identify victims of sexual assault.

Defense attorney Jeffrey Gilleran, who works in the forensics division of the county public defender's office, challenged the DNA testing. He said the DNA technician who testified at trial omitted controlled samples from the evidence samples during her testing and failed to allow a peer review process on her results to be conducted, processes that he said led to "invalid results."

"We all have rules, and we're all expected to follow them," Gilleran said. "I'm not saying all DNA testing is bad. But it has to be done properly. It was not done properly."

Rogers countered that "only one person in 5 quadrillion people have the DNA" that was recovered from the victim's body. That, she said, was "her attacker, Kelroy Williamson."

Co-defense attorney William Davis pointed to the woman's statements to detectives that her attacker had "white teeth" and no facial hair. Davis said Williamson has long had a gold tooth, a mustache and a full beard.

Rogers said the woman was careful and deliberate in identifying Williamson.

The prosecutor said the woman ended her testimony by saying, "I am sure it is him."

nicole.fuller@baltsun.com

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