DNA Evidence on a Cigarette Leads to Arrest for 15-Year-Old Rape

10/10/2012 9:30 AM |

cigarette.jpeg

Like something out of one of the cop procedurals I am usually too squeamish to watch, a man is convicted of a horrific 1998 rape based on the cigarette butt he left at an equally horrific 2011 rape.

Lerio Guerrero, 34, tossed a cigarette butt near the scene of a 2011 sexual assault in Brooklyn. While he was never charged in that rape, police arrested him for trespassing and matched his DNA to the cigarette.

A search of the state DNA database came up with a hit from the rape on Orchard St. on a chilly November night back in 1998. [NY Daily News]

Eek. Good, I guess? Sad all around. But cigarette DNA and DNA databases for old crimes in general seem like the kind of thing a gruff cop would laugh off, saying you watched too much TV, so it’s interesting to know that stuff is possible.