People v. Rush

630 N.Y.S.2d 631 (1995)

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People v. Rush

New York Supreme Court
630 N.Y.S.2d 631 (1995)

  • Written by Arlyn Katen, JD

Facts

Basheen Rush (defendant) was convicted of robbing and raping a woman at knifepoint. Shortly after the rape, semen samples were collected from the woman’s body during a hospital examination. The woman initially identified Rush as her assailant in a photographic array and at an in-person lineup, but at trial, the woman identified a courtroom spectator as her assailant. The trial court suppressed the woman’s previous identification of Rush at the in-person lineup. Thus, at trial, the only evidence that linked Rush to the crime was expert testimony from a special agent at the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The expert witness testified that he had matched Rush’s DNA to DNA extracted from the semen, and that the probability that another person randomly selected from the Black, White, and Hispanic population would have a similarly matching DNA profile was less than one in 500 million. The expert also acknowledged that DNA comparison could not result in an absolute identification. After the prosecution (plaintiff) closed its case at trial, Rush moved to dismiss the case, arguing that the evidence was legally insufficient to make a prima facie case that Rush was the assailant. The trial court deferred its decision on Rush’s motion until after the jury reached a verdict. The jury convicted Rush of first-degree rape and robbery. The trial court then considered whether to grant Rush’s motion for a trial order of dismissal.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Marrus, J.)

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