A Virginia drug dealer faces 25 years in prison after DNA evidence led to his indictment for the 1993 rape of a 16-year-old NYC girl. Alberto Barriera, 46, has been charged with first degree rape, robbery and burglary after he attacked the teenage victim when she was returning to her LES home, took her money and jewelry, choked her and sexually assaulted her. District Attorney Cyrus Vance said in a statement, “It is impossible to overstate the importance of expanding the New York State DNA databank to include DNA collection upon conviction for all Penal Law crimes — felonies and misdemeanors, as this case starkly shows."
Barriera was originally indicted as a "John Doe" case in 2003 before the before the statute of limitations expired. And though a sexual assault evidence kit was prepared immediately after the rape, his DNA "was not analyzed until 2002, as part of the New York City Police Department’s Backlog Testing Program." But his DNA was entered into the National DNA databank after a felony drug possession conviction in Virginia, and it turned up as a match for the 1993 crime.
Barriera had also been convicted of misdemeanor crimes in 1999 and 2004, but DNA collection for felons didn't begin in New York until 2006. The DA's statement says, "Since DNA evidence from the 1993 rape case had been analyzed in 2002, if the defendant’s DNA had been eligible to be collected after his misdemeanor convictions and entered into the National DNA databank, justice for the victim could have been delivered eights years earlier."