XENIA — Testimony resumed Tuesday morning in the retrial for a Xenia man accused of raping a 10-year-old girl.
Joshua Landers, 27, is being tried on three counts of rape and one count of attempted rape in Greene County Common Pleas Court under the supervision of Judge Michael Buckwalter.
The court heard from three witnesses in the Tuesday morning’s proceedings, including two DNA analysis experts from the state’s crime lab, the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI).
According to Malorie Kulp, a BCI forensic scientist tasked with primary “big-picture” DNA analysis, initial tests did not identify semen in two of the DNA swabs from the victim’s body and were inconclusive in another swab. A single sperm cell was identified on the victim’s underwear, she said.
According to Hallie Garafalo, another BCI forensic scientist, Landers could not be excluded as a possible contributor to the DNA found on the underwear.
Testifying from her original DNA analysis report, she said, “Based on the national database provided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the proportion of the population that cannot be excluded as possible contributors to the sperm fraction from the underwear is 1 in every 838 individuals, based on this report.”
An updated report put the figure at 1 in every 833 individuals.
Garafalo later testified that neither Landers nor any of his paternal male relatives could be eliminated as the source of the DNA profile found on the underwear. According to Garafalo, numbers from another database (U.S. Y-StR) put the estimated frequency of the profile as 1 in 5,236 males.
Garafalo also testified that neither Landers nor any of his paternal male relatives could be eliminated as the source of the DNA profile found in the victim. According to Garafalo, the U.S. Y-StR numbers put the estimated frequency of the profile as 1 in 2,000 males.
“What all this means is that with conventional DNA testing I was able to detect foreign male DNA, and I cannot exclude Mr. Landers as a contributor to that,” Garafalo said. “With the male-specific DNA testing, I was able to detect a good amount of male DNA on both the underwear and [in the victim] and from that data, from that male DNA, I cannot exclude Mr. Landers as a contributor to that DNA.”
The victim in the case testified earlier in the trial and described incidents of sexual contact with Landers back in 2013. Testimony also revealed Monday that Landers was the roommate of one of the victim’s mother’s friends and had been charged with watching the girl on occasion.
Landers’ trial is set to resume Thursday morning. The delay is due to the schedule of one of the state’s witnesses.
The case was originally heard in Greene County Common Pleas Court in September 2014, but jurors could not come to a unanimous verdict, which resulted in the new trial being heard this week.
Reach Nathan Pilling at 937-502-4498 or on Twitter @XDGNatePilling.
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