Although his client’s DNA was found on a condom used in a gruesome California gang rape that shocked the nation back in 2009, one attorney is claiming the 20-year-old man never actually participated in the crime.
Rather, wind transferred the man’s DNA from a nearby beer can to the condom, according to defense attorney Gordon Brown.
Brown’s client, Marcelles Peter, is among a group of six men and teenagers charged with assaulting the girl, an act which took place outside the victim’s homecoming dance in Richmond, California.
The victim, a 16-year-old girl who reportedly measured just over five feet tall and weighed only 100 pounds, was lured by the men into a dark courtyard near the school to drink brandy.
After consuming a considerable amount of alcohol, the girl refused to have sex with the group – a decision that led to her being beaten, raped, and robbed for more than two hours in an attack witnessed by as many as 20 other people.
The girl, who was beaten unconscious during the assault, was eventually airlifted to a nearby hospital.
The victim has since recovered and is expected to testify at trial.
On Monday, Peter’s attorney argued the helicopter “compromised” evidence at the scene and likely carried Peter’s DNA from a beer can to the used condom.
Contra Costa County District Attorney John Cope, meanwhile, said Peter "played an active, sexual role" in the attack. Cope described the attack as nearly fatal for the 16-year-old sophomore.
"These acts or assaults took place over a time period of over two and a half hours, until almost midnight," Cope said.
Of the group of seven men initially charged in the aftermath of the attack, charges were dropped against one due to a lack of evidence.
Two defendants who took plea deals in an effort to avoid trial were give prison terms of 27 and 32 years on a number of charges, according to the Contra Costa Times.