A woman, who alleges that she was raped by a man in Pittsburgh in 1992, took the stand last Thursday to testify against him. The woman now lives in the United Kingdom and made the journey to Pittsburgh in order to give her testimony. She says that she never gave up hope that her alleged attacker would be caught.
The woman recounted threats that she says the now 61 year-old defendant made against her, saying that she went along with the man's threats because she didn't want to die. Bill Valenta, a former police officer who worked the case and is now a dean at the University of Pittsburgh, says that the woman never lost interest in the case. He credits her with playing a large part in the man's capture, which came after his DNA was found to match DNA which had been input into a national registry.
Though there has been a preliminary match of DNA in the case, experts say that the case is not without potential complications. One of the potential complications is the fact that in 1992 DNA evidence was not widely used in court proceedings. Though the law has been updated to include such evidence, to date there has been no substantial court challenge to the new laws and related statute of limitations.
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