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Prosecutors claim DNA proves Colorado Springs man guilty of rape

A Colorado Springs sexual assault case raises some interesting questions for the court to deal with as it hears testimony and weighs evidence.

One of the questions deals with which is more valuable: an eyewitness account given by the alleged rape victim or a DNA match?

The incident occurred almost exactly two years ago in a vacant Colorado Springs field. It was there, a 22-year-old woman said, she was attacked and raped by an unknown assailant. She later described the attacker to police, even giving important details about marks on his skin near an eye. She also picked the man -- a registered sex offender -- out of a police line-up.

But later, police dropped their investigation of that man and accused a 33-year-old man of the assault. Prosecutors said they had matched DNA to the new suspect.

Prosecutors said the incident began when the victim left a Murray Boulevard apartment after quarreling with a friend's boyfriend. As she was trying to call a cousin for a ride home, she said she noticed a white Jeep repeatedly passing her by.

The driver of the Jeep parked and then allegedly attacked the woman when she came near. She said she raped in a field there.

The woman later spoke with police, describing her assailant and then pointing out his photo to officers.

Law enforcement later ruled him out of their investigation when they made a DNA match earlier this year.

The man who is now on trial faces 12 counts, including accusations of sexual assault and kidnapping. He faces the possibility of life in prison if convicted on the charges.

Will the purported DNA evidence trump the eyewitness evidence that apparently points to someone other than the defendant? A verdict is expected within a day or two. We'll know then.

Source: Colorado Springs Gazette: "Rape trial focuses on if DNA evidence is enough to convict," Lance Benzel, Nov. 8, 2011

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