DNA evidence not tested in 2007 De Anza rape

May 17, 2010 5:30:26 PM PDT
There are new accusations in the case of a young woman who claims she was raped by members of a South Bay college baseball team.

New doubts are being raised on whether some of the baseball players at De Anza College escaped rape charges because certain evidence in the case was not tested for DNA.

The Santa Clara district attorney says this is not the case.

The crime lab technician told the victim's attorney that on orders of the district attorney's office, which oversees the lab, not all evidence gathered at the location of the party and alleged rape was tested, including a garment and a blanket.

District Attorney Dolores Carr told ABC7 the DNA testing of those items was not needed because it would have duplicated testing already done.

"When there are thousands of pieces of evidence, we need to sort through them, make sure what we are looking at has evidentiary value to the case," she said. "We don't just test just to test. We need to test to make sure that we gather all of the evidence that's available to help us charge a case."

Based on that evidence, no charges were filed against members of the De Anza College baseball team at the party, a decision that generated protests and criticism by the Santa Clara County sheriff.

ABC7 legal analyst Dean Johnson says investigators and prosecutors like to leave no stone unturned. He gives the benefit of doubt to the district attorney's handling of the evidence.

"Unless, and until we know that that's not true, we should assume that they did their jobs," he says. "Of course, there are always slips and there are always chances to review. As long as you're within the statute of limitations, you can always go back and take another look."

The attorney representing the victim in the civil case had no comment. A former defense attorney for one of the baseball team members says the decision not to file criminal charges was reviewed twice.

"Two prosecutors... There was not only the district attorney of Santa Clara County, but also the attorney general's office reviewed this entire case and said it's not prosecutable," said former defense attorney John Cahners. "And, believe me, they had physical evidence that they went over at the time."

A civil case against the players is continuing. A gag order has been issued preventing all the parties involved from speaking out publically.


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