Originally created 09/06/97

Test shows different odds in Albert sex case



ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) - A second round of genetic tests on the underwear of a woman who accused NBC sportscaster Marv Albert of sexual assault shows his sperm was present, according to a laboratory report filed in court.

An analysis by the Virginia Division of Forensic Science matched semen stains in the woman's underwear with a blood sample taken from Albert.

The analysis, filed late Thursday, concluded that there was a 1 in 8.8 million chance that semen found in a stain in the front of the underwear could have come from anyone other than Albert. However, tests on a stain in the rear panel of the underwear showed that there was 1 chance in 760 that the DNA was from someone other than Albert.

The reason for the widely disparate results is that the tests on the DNA found in the front of the underwear were more discriminating. Scientists tested four groups of genes from that sample but tested only two groups of genes from a stain found in the rear panel of the underwear, said Edward Blake, a forensic science expert in California.

A 42-year-old Vienna, Va., woman accused Albert of throwing her onto a bed in his hotel room on Feb. 12, biting her back severely and forcing her to perform oral sex.

Albert is charged with forcible sodomy and assault and battery and could face up to life in prison if convicted at his Sept. 22 trial.

Previous genetic tests on the semen on her underwear and other material recovered from a bite wound on her back and her underwear showed a 1 in 2.6 billion chance that the DNA came from someone other than Albert.

The most recent examination, however, involved specific tests that apply to genetic material found on fabric. Its results are broader because of the type of test and the size of the sample against which it was compared.

Albert was ordered to provide a blood sample and copies of his dental impressions in June. Results of the dental testing have not been made public.

Prosecutors ordered the second round of tests simply to provide a fallback in case the first tests are ruled inadmissible.

"The analysis contained in the second report is simply redundant. What's going on here is the prosecution basically is covering its rear end," said Blake, a DNA expert at Forensic Science Associates in Richmond, Calif.

Albert's defense attorney, Roy Black, complained bitterly that releasing the results of the DNA tests would jeopardize Albert's chance for a fair trial.

On Thursday, Arlington Circuit Judge Benjamin N.A. Kendrick rejected Black's request to dismiss the case because of the DNA publicity.