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Florida: DNA Mix-Up Calls Rapist's Conviction Into Question

When the FBI informed the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) that it had a recent "hit" on the DNA of convicted rapist Andrew Lingard, the FDLE realized that something was amiss, because Lingard has been in prison for the last four years and the FDLE lab in Orlando had processed the DNA evidence that led to his conviction. Investigation has since revealed that the labels on two DNA samples -- that of Lingard and the boyfriend of the alleged 2004 rape victim -- were mistakenly switched by the Altamonto Springs Police Department, and that the mistake then went unnoticed by an FDLE lab analyst and reviewer.

Not one to be undeterred, Altamonte Springs Police Chief Michael Deal insists Lingard is guilty. Seminole County prosecutors intend to seek an order compelling Lingard to provide another DNA sample for testing. Why the original sample is no longer available was not explained. Nor was any explanation offered for why the police are not investigating the boyfriend of the alleged victim as a possible suspect.

Source: (September 26, 2011)

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