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News

DNA samples exonerate convicted rapist

Bode Technology : 13 January, 2010  (Application Story)
Cold case conviction turned over after 28 years when Bode Technology tested slides of last remaining evidence, proving the convicted man had not committed the crime
GlobalOptions Group has announced that its Bode Technology unit (Bode) was involved in the exoneration of Donald Gates who was wrongly convicted of the rape and murder of Catherine Schilling.


Nearly 28 years ago, Donald Gates was sentenced to life in prison for the rape and murder of 21-year-old Catherine Schilling. The Georgetown coed was taking a shortcut through Washington DC's Rock Creek Park when she was attacked on the night of June 22, 1981. Donald Gates always maintained his innocence. In July 2008, Washington DC detectives located six slides connected to the case at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

Bode was one of two independent laboratories chosen to test the last remaining evidence items obtained from the victim. Despite the age and condition of the samples, Bode was able to successfully use miniSTRs to generate a DNA profile which excluded Donald Gates as the perpetrator. The DNA profile can now be used to compare to other potential suspects in the case and may one day result in the arrest and conviction of the true perpetrator.

"The samples tested in this case were nearly 30 years old which presented technical challenges. Thankfully, we were able to successfully use miniSTR technology which was specifically developed to enable the generation of DNA profiles from degraded samples," said Howard Safir, CEO of Bode Technology and former New York City Police Commissioner. He also noted: "The technology used by Bode to exonerate Mr Gates was developed only a few years ago. Had the samples been tested before this time, it is highly likely that less genetic information would have been obtained, and the samples may have been consumed in the process."

"Scientists at Bode Technology have extensive experience with obtaining DNA profiles from challenging samples, and have performed DNA testing on post-conviction cases throughout the country. Bode Technology is pleased that it could offer assistance in this matter," stated Barry Watson, President of Bode Technology.

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