DNA of Carbondale rape suspect found on victim
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Editor’s note: The information contained in this article is graphic in nature and was reported from a courtroom where a man is standing trial of sexual assault.
A forensic biologist testified Friday that the DNA of rape suspect Emanuel Gonzalez-Loujun was found inside his alleged victim’s body.
Arlene Benge, a specialist for the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI), testified in the trial of Gonzalez-Loujun, 22, who is accused of sexually assaulting a woman outside the Centennial housing complex on Jan. 17, 2009.
Benge said that after testing materials sent to the CBI by the Aspen Police Department, she found Gonzalez-Loujun’s DNA in the victim’s anus, on her face and on the tights she was wearing the night she allegedly was attacked.
Gonzalez-Loujun’s DNA was taken from an oral swab shortly after his arrest and used by the CBI for comparison during the testing.
Benge testified that she was unable to find any male DNA in the victim’s vagina and semen couldn’t be detected in or on her body. However, results showed a mixture of male DNA in the victim’s anus and Benge said the testing of semen was inconclusive in that particular location.
She testified that sperm also wasn’t detected anywhere in or on the victim’s body but that it wouldn’t show up if the suspect had a low count or had a vasectomy.
The prosecution alleges the victim performed at least three sexual acts with Gonzalez-Loujun, including being sexually assaulted vaginally and anally. Gonzalez-Loujun is accused of following the victim home from a bus stop and dragging her to various locations, including a snow bank outside of her apartment, where he sexually assaulted her. The victim testified that he said he would kill himself with a gun if she didn’t comply with his demands, and that she was afraid for her own life.
Benge said the DNA of both Gonzalez-Loujun and the victim were found on his pubic hair samples and a swab taken from his penis.
Benge said the only way DNA wouldn’t show up in the victim’s vagina is if there was no penetration or a condom was used. There was no testimony during the week-long trial from the victim or authorities that Gonzalez-Loujun used a condom in the alleged attack.
Benge couldn’t answer questions from Chief Deputy District Attorney Arnold Mordkin or Gonzalez-Loujun’s public defenders about why no semen was found.
“I don’t know what the victim did,” she said in response to public defender Stephen McCrohan’s claim that the physical evidence does not corroborate with the victim’s claim that Gonzalez-Loujun allegedly ejaculated on her face and stomach.
Benge said semen might not be found if the victim wiped her face with a tissue.
Crying frequently, the victim dabbed her eyes and wiped her runny nose with Kleenex when she was examined by a sexual assault nurse a few hours after the alleged attack, according to previous testimony.
McCrohan questioned Benge on cross examination that DNA could result from other bodily materials such as sweat, skin or blood cells, to which she answered in the affirmative.
Benge testified under McCrohan’s questioning that she detected the DNA of three males in the victim’s anus and up to five males on her tights, which included Gonzalez-Loujun’s in both locations.
Benge testified that the origins of those DNAs, how they were placed in those locations or how long they were there is unknown. The DNA of other people could have showed up on the victim’s tights by the handling of them during the investigation, she testified.
Benge, under re-direct questioning by Mordkin, testified that Gonzalez-Loujun’s DNA was the predominate component of the results and the others were minor.
“Everywhere on this profile is Mr. Gonzalez,” Mordkin said to Benge, to which she agreed.
She also testified that it’s possible that Gonzalez-Loujun’s penis could have transferred others’ DNA to the victim.
The prosecution rested its case after Benge’s testimony.
Gonzalez-Loujun’s defense team, McCrohan and public defender Tina Fang, made a motion for their client to be acquitted on the grounds that the prosecution didn’t provide sufficient evidence for a jury to make a determination.
Ninth Judicial District Judge James Boyd denied the motion, ruling that sufficient evidence was provided.
The defense then called its last four witnesses – two Aspen Police officers, the bus driver who drove the Hunter Creek route the morning in question and a bondsman who provided testimony attempting to discredit a witness called by the prosecution earlier in the week.
Testimony from the defense’s witnesses and cross examination by Mordkin lasted about an hour.
Gonzalez-Loujun waived his right to testify on Friday.
He faces up to life in state prison if convicted of the sexual assault charge. He also is being tried for the felony counts of kidnapping, assault on a police officer, possession of cocaine and possession of cocaine with the intent to distribute.
Police found 13 bindles, or 14 grams of cocaine in his pants pocket when he was arrested minutes after the victim was able to escape.
Since his arrest, Gonzalez-Loujun has been in the custody of the Pitkin County jail on a $250,000 bond.
Both sides will present closing arguments this morning, and then the jury of eight women and four men will deliberate before reaching a verdict.
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