The prosecution revealed critical evidence and linked defendant Christina Regusters to the victim of a heinous rape and kidnapping on Jan. 14, 2013.
DNA expert Brian Pfleegor testified in court today that DNA from Regusters was found on the T-shirt worn by the 5-year-old victim.
The Philadelphia child was left underneath a swing set wearing only a black T-shirt last year after she was brutally sexually assaulted with a sharp object, causing severe injuries to her rectum that required multiple surgeries.
Pfleegor reviewed the DNA test results of the t-shirt and other items collected from 6243 Walton Avenue, where Regusters lived at the time of her arrest.
Although a presence of the defendant’s DNA was found on the T-shirt, Pfleegor testified that he didn’t know the manner of how the DNA got on the T-shirt. It could have been transferred via direct contact with the clothing or indirect contact.
“We can’t tell you how it got there or when it got there but just that it’s there,” he said.
In addition to Regusters’ DNA, semen was also found on the T-shirt. Test results did not identify who the semen belonged to.
Forensic scientist Patricia Lane told jurors that the mixture of DNA on the T-shirt most likely came from four people -- the victim, Nelson Mandela Myers (the passerby who found the victim on the playground), Christina Regusters and an unrelated person.
While under cross examination, Pfleegor stated that there was no DNA from the rape victim found inside Regusters’ Walton Avenue home -- the place where police allege the crimes took place.
A sharp object was used to rape the child. Dr. Cindy Christian of Children's Hospital of Philadelphia testified last week that the object could have been a broomstick.
Samples that were taken from the Walton Avenue home -- swabs from underneath the bed where the crimes allegedly occurred, a black pole, laundry bag and broken broomstick handle -- came back from testing with no DNA found to match the victim.
FBI agent Thomas Scanzano testified that Regusters told him that you are never going to find the guy that did this during an interview last year.
After the prosecution presented the DNA evidence in court, Judge Jeffrey Minehart ruled in favor of the defense. A motion presented by defense attorney Fred Harrison Jr. was granted by Minehart.
Harrison's asked the court to suppress the Feb. 14 2013 interview that Regusters gave to Philadelphia Police because she was not given her Miranda Rights. Minehart granted the motion and ruled that the prosecution may use the statement as rebuttle only if the defendant takes the stand in her own defense.
Regusters sat still and quiet as she flipped through her case file for the duration of today's testimony. It was an about face for the defendant who just yesterday cried out in court calling her cousin's testimony a lie.