DNA Tests Support Conviction in Rape Case

DNA Tests Support Conviction in Rape Case

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(Salt Lake City-AP) -- DNA tests of a convicted Utah rapist have failed to clear the man.

Eric Lee Piper has said all along he was innocent, and he wanted the DNA tests to help prove his case.

But the tests didn't help him out much. DNA samples taken from two cigarette butts found at the scene of the crime matched Piper.

Piper was convicted of burglary, rape and two counts of forcible sodomy stemming from the attack at a Harrisville home. Those convictions could keep him locked up for life.

The University of Utah-based Rocky Mountain Innocence Center sought the tests on the inmate's behalf. The center paid for the test because they don't want innocent people behind bars. But many times, they say the DNA tests show the right person has been convicted.

The center says it now hopes Piper will accept responsibility for the crime.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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