Man convicted in 1985 rape challenges flawed hair analysis

AP News
Posted: Sep 11, 2015 2:27 PM

FALL RIVER, Mass. (AP) — A man who has spent almost 29 years in prison after being convicted of raping an elderly woman is seeking a new trial based largely on a science the FBI recently acknowledged has severe limitations.

George Perrot was convicted of raping a 78-year-old woman in Springfield in 1985, in part based microscopic analysis of a single hair found in the woman's home. An FBI agent testified that the hair was a match for Perrot's.

But last year, the U.S. Department of Justice flagged Perrot's case as one of hundreds that involved erroneous statements from FBI agents about hair analysis. The FBI now acknowledges that the science is not conclusive and now uses it in conjunction with DNA testing.

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A judge heard testimony Friday on Perrot's motion for a new trial.