Touch DNA, which is DNA from skin cells left behind on something that a person has touched, had not traditionally been used in groping and sexual assault cases at the time, according to Valentine.
But when the nurse examiner was left with few other options, she remembered that the state crime lab had recently improved its DNA testing methods. So, she tried something different.
The nurse swabbed the victim’s skin and clothing everywhere the victim said the man had touched her, and the nurse also collected the victim’s clothing. The method seemed so unusual at the time that when the nurse called the crime lab to explain why she collected what she did, she told them, “You’re going to think I’m crazy, but this is all we had to go on.”