New York City officials are cleaning up after a lab technician who reportedly bungled DNA evidence in at least 26 rape cases. The medical examiner's office is in the process of reviewing 843 cases; the technician missed biological evidence in 26 of those studied thus far. Officials were able to construct full DNA profiles that investigators could have used in seven of the cases, the New York Times reports.
Two of those profiles pointed to people who were already convicted or suspected of crimes; another sample prompted an indictment a decade after the material was first obtained. There weren't, however, any wrongful convictions, notes an official. The technician at fault, who resigned in November 2011, made mistakes including accidentally mixing samples, failing to notice stains on victims' clothing, and performing flawed tests. Usually, the office is considered a leader in forensics. "This is the first time we’ve had anything like this," says a rep.