A criminologist presented DNA evidence today in the trial of Adam Wright, linking him to the rape of a 12-year-old girl in 2002.
The DNA sample provided by Wright, 43, was collected in 2005 in relation to another rape case, criminologist Noelle Umback told the courtroom in Kings County Supreme Court. It wasn’t until three years ago that technological advancements allowed the swab taken from the victim to be sorted and matched to Wright’s DNA, she said.
The victim was not present at the trial. She took the stand last week, and was questioned by Wright himself, who is acting as his own attorney.
The Brooklyn woman, now 21, was allegedly raped twice on the rooftop of a building in Canarsie nine years ago.
To underline how clear she felt the DNA evidence was, Umback said the police would have to look in 150 planets comparable to Earth to find another person that shared the exact same DNA.
Wright sought to disprove the results from the lab tests.
“Are there possible sources of error [when analyzing samples]?” he asked.
Umback conceded that mistakes could be made, but explained that the analyzing procedures where thoroughly checked upon completion so chances were slim.
The defendant — dressed in a lilac shirt and tie — was repeatedly asked by Judge Dineen Riviezzo to reformulate his questions to the witnesses.
Among the many inquiries, he asked whether semen samples could be collected if the perpetrator wore a condom. There was no record of a condom being found at the scene of the crime.
“Yes,” Umback replied. “Condoms break or fall off … A lot of babies are born that way,” she said with an almost imperceptible smile.
Could samples be tampered with or washed off? he asked.
“Yes,” Umback replied again. She said both circumstances were highly unlikely.
Umback’s testimony was corroborated by Marie Sample, assistant director of the Department of Forensic Biology, who took the stand late in the afternoon. She said that testing equipment goes through routine quality controls to prevent potential corruption of DNA samples.
The case will resume on Monday.
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