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NAHA, Okinawa — An Okinawa crime lab technician testified Thursday that he has no doubt DNA samples collected from two rape scenes matched DNA taken from the saliva of defendant Dag Allen Thompson, 31.

Eiko Uchima, Okinawa Prefectural Police crime lab chief, said there was just one chance in 3.482 billion someone else’s DNA would match Thompson’s.

Thompson, a Kadena Exchange New Car Sales employee at the time of his Oct. 15 arrest, is accused of breaking into two Okinawan women’s homes while they slept and raping them. The former Marine was arrested after a 21-year-old woman identified him as the person who raped her on Aug. 22 in Chatan. She said she’d seen his face in the light of her cell phone, which she had picked up during the attack.

Thompson also is charged with a June 1998 rape of a 27-year-old woman in Naha. Uchima testified he connected the cases when he realized the DNA profiles obtained from the Chatan crime scene had the same characteristics as evidence from the Naha case six years earlier.

Uchima said he was involved in both tests and also processed Thompson’s saliva after his arrest.

At a previous hearing, the technician testified that his crime laboratory used the latest DNA profiling equipment to process the evidence.

“There’s no doubt in my mind that the profiling was accurate,” he said. “All the results were precise and correct.”

He said semen left at the crime scene in the 1998 case was processed for DNA profiling as a matter of routine, because “as in any sexual crime, the suspect is likely to be a repeat offender.”

“We tested the sample to see if it matched the data we had from past cases,” he said. It didn’t. But when he tested samples in the Chatan case the results were strikingly similar.

However, DNA processing had changed over the years, so Uchima decided to retest samples from the Chatan case using the older method to see if they matched the earlier Naha results, he testified.

“The result showed that the semen samples from Naha and Chatan were of the same type,” Uchima said. The DNA from Thompson’s saliva also matched the Chatan case, he said.

Thompson, sitting between two guards on a bench in front of the defense table, seemed to pay little attention to the English translation as prosecutor Mamoru Yamatoya walked Uchima through the steps used in processing the evidence for DNA. During most of the afternoon session, Thompson closely examined photos of his Okinawan wife and two children provided during a break by his attorney, Toshimitsu Takaesu. Throughout Thursday’s hearing, Thompson’s wife sat by herself in the back row of the courtroom’s sparsely occupied spectator section.

Thompson has been held in isolation since his Oct. 15 arrest. While he’s been held at the Naha Detention Center, only his lawyer has been able to visit.

“We hope to have that ban lifted soon,” Takaesu said during a recess.

Takaesu is scheduled to get an opportunity to cross-examine Uchima at the next session, set for June 28.

Chiyomi Sumida contributed to this report.


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