BCI scientists link Mehno to DNA rape evidence from babysitter

LISBON – Two scientists from the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Information and Investigation testified Wednesday morning at the jury trial of accused rapist Anthony Mehno.

Mehno, 27, East Fourth Street, Salem, is charged with rape, sexual battery and unlawful sexual conduct with a minor for an alleged incident with a 15-year-old babysitter on April 29, 2010. The girl claims she was asleep in Mehno’s girlfriend’s bed next to the 2-year-old child she was watching, when she awoke to find Mehno having sex on top of her with his hand over her mouth.

Both Chad Britton and Linda Eveleth, scientists with BCII, testified about the results of tests conducted on the rape kit and clothing collected from the teenager. Britton said he checks slides and the items for bodily fluids, identified both semen and blood, and repackaged the items to be analyzed by the DNA department at BCII.

Eveleth, who conducted the DNA analysis, said the vaginal swabs and the underwear reportedly worn by the girl as she ran from the house following the alleged assault contained both the girl’s DNA and Mehno’s. In the case of the underwear the girl reportedly wore right after the assault it was determined the chances of the semen belonging to anyone besides Mehno was one in more than 20 quintillion – 20,240,000,000,000,000,000 to be exact – a number Eveleth was asked to write onto the courtroom chalkboard by the jury.

Assistant County Prosecutor Timothy McNicol asked her how that compares to the number of people on Earth, which she responded is only about 7 billion.

Defense attorney Kenneth Lewis had questioned the teen’s mother the day before, asking if the girl and Mehno’s then girlfriend, Ashley Goudy, ever swapped clothing. The mother had said Goudy often gave her daughter clothes like jeans or shirts, but not underwear. Eveleth testified there was no DNA from any other person on the underwear.

The vaginal swab also reportedly tested positive for Mehno’s DNA, but in that case Eveleth noted the chance of the DNA belonging to anyone else was one in 173,900 unrelated individuals. She noted identical twins have the same DNA.

Court documents show on May 3, 2010, Mehno married his girlfriend at the time, Goudy. It was her 2-year-old child the girl was babysitting at the time of the alleged rape, only days before the marriage. Goudy was reportedly in custody at the county jail on a warrant at the time of the alleged rape, which was the reason Mehno had asked her to babysit.

Testimony is expected to continue on Thursday morning with the physician who examined the teen taking the stand.