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Prosecutor wants new DNA test

February 09, 1999|By DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - After initial DNA tests failed to provide a match, the Franklin County District Attorney's last week petitioned the court for a second set of tests on a man charged with raping a woman last year on the Appalachian Trail.

Terry A. Boose, 33, of Gardners, Pa., also was charged with involuntary sexual intercourse, aggravated indecent assault and simple assault in an attack on a 28-year-old Delaware woman last June on a remote section of trail in Quincy Township.

Vaginal swabs and semen stains on the woman's underwear were subjected to DNA testing after the June 3 assault, but they did not match DNA from a blood sample taken from Boose.

In December, Assistant Public Defender Nancy Meyers asked Judge John Walker to dismiss the charges against Boose. Walker did not, citing the victim's identification of Boose in an Aug. 31 lineup.

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"There is a substantial amount of incriminating evidence against the defendant ... The Commonwealth believes further scientific testing is required," the district attorney's office says in the petition filed Feb. 3. That evidence includes the lineup identification and "incriminating statements by the defendant" after his June 9 arrest, the petition states.

The petition says the prosecution "has been advised by experts in the field that in a very small percentage of cases, it is possible for a person's blood DNA to test significantly different from other bodily fluids such as saliva."

According to the petition, it is also possible there was contamination during the collection of the blood samples from Boose.

The District Attorney's office is asking for additional samples of blood and saliva for retesting "to eliminate the possibility of misidentification."

Public Defender Robert J. Trambley said his office likely will oppose a second set of tests. A hearing on the petition is scheduled for Feb. 22 at 1:30 p.m.

The woman testified at Boose's preliminary hearing last year that a man offered her a beer while she was resting at a trail shelter. She declined and continued hiking, but later was attacked by a man wearing a T-shirt over his face, she said.

On June 8, a man identified as Boose was riding a bicycle in Cumberland County when he was stopped by a Pennsylvania State Police trooper. Boose was found to be wanted in Adams County, Pa., on theft and criminal mischief charges, and the man fled on foot.

Boose was arrested the next day in a Cumberland County orchard, according to state police.

Boose is being held in Cumberland County Prison on charges of burglary, criminal trespass, criminal mischief and receiving stolen property, according to a prison spokesman.

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