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Boose rape charge dropped

March 08, 1999|By DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Rape and related charges against Terry Alvin Boose were withdrawn Monday, according to Franklin County District Attorney John F. Nelson.

"The basis for the voluntary withdrawal of the charges is in part due to the fact that the DNA testing of seminal fluid collected from the rape victim failed to provide a match with blood samples taken from Boose," Nelson said in a statement.

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"Other evidentiary problems were also taken into account in arriving at this decision," the statement said.

Boose, 33, of Gardners, Pa., had been charged with rape, involuntary deviant sexual intercourse, aggravated indecent assault and simple assault. The charges stemmed from an attack on a Delaware woman on June 3, 1998, on an isolated section of the Appalachian Trail in Quincy Township, Pa.

Nelson's decision not to prosecute the case came after Assistant Public Defender Nancy Meyers filed a motion to have the charges dismissed last Thursday.

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Last week, Nelson's office withdrew a request for a second set of DNA tests on Boose, citing a lack of any scientific basis for the mismatch. He said then there was no evidence the samples had been switched since Pennsylvania State Police were present when the blood was drawn from Boose.

Nelson said last week he was waiting for state police to talk with the victim before making a decision about whether to prosecute the case.

Beside the DNA mismatch, Meyers' petition also stated that at a Dec. 8 hearing a state trooper "testified he had no knowledge that the victim had given the State Police details about any tattoos that her attacker had on his body."

Trooper Roger Hall testified at that hearing that Boose had a red heart tattoo on one arm. He said he did not know what description the woman may have given other officers about tattoos.

The victim had given police a drawing of a tattoo on the attacker that resembled a Maltese cross, according to the petition.

"They had not advised me of it, nor turned it over to me at the time of the last habeas corpus hearing," Nelson said Monday.

Meyers said Nelson gave her the information as soon as it became available to him from police earlier this year.

The petition said the woman had drawn the tattoo in August, the month before Boose's preliminary hearing. It was also in August that the Pennsylvania State Police Crime Lab found Boose's blood DNA did not match the DNA in vaginal swabs taken from the woman after the attack.

"At this time it was the correct thing to do. It doesn't mean our investigation is closed," Hall said Monday. He would not comment on any specifics of the investigation.

Nelson said his office has never had any case with a DNA match that has gone to trial. He could not recall if any local suspects had ever been cleared by DNA testing prior to Boose.

Boose was still being held Monday on other charges in Cumberland County Prison, according to a prison spokesman. Boose's lawyer in that county, Sam Milkes, said his client pleaded guilty to fleeing from police and was awaiting trial on a burglary charge.

The fleeing charge stemmed from June 8, when Boose fled from a state trooper who had stopped him for questioning. Boose was arrested the next day.

When police searched Boose's Adams County home, described as a two-room building made of apple crates, they found more than 100 items of women's clothing, mostly underwear, according to allegations contained in documents in Franklin County Court.

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