Semen Says

A new DNA test casts serious doubt on George Allen's guilt. So why is he still in prison?

Doug Levine argued at both trials that the semen found on the robe and jeans was the product of consensual sexual intercourse with Watters -- and not left by Allen.

At the first trial, which began in April 1983, Levine argued, "I submit to you that it was consensual sexual intercourse to start, and I submit to you that she wouldn't have opened the door to let just anybody back in. She would have let Russell [Watters] back in. And I submit to you that they had consensual sex, and that something went crazy, something caused the argument that the lady next door heard, and then it was all over."

The jurors deadlocked, with ten of eleven jurors favoring a not-guilty verdict.

In the second trial, Levine stated, "We've got seminal acid phosphatase that is found in the crotch of this lady's jeans. We've got seminal acid phosphatase that is found on the seat of a chair as if she'd sat down, and we've got seminal acid phosphatase in the rear interior portion of the robe," he continued. "We also have no trauma to the vagina. I submit to you that that is very consistent with consensual sexual intercourse."

Prosecutor Dean Hoag argued that it was Allen's seminal fluid they found, and that the defendant raped and sodomized Mary Bell. When she fought back against "the humiliation," he killed her.

"Now, I might add that nine out of ten people in the courtroom could have had sexual intercourse, nine out of ten men," Hoag added. "Now that's not enough to convict him, but it doesn't eliminate him -- because you see if he wasn't one of those nine out of ten, then we wouldn't be here."

Despite the new evidence that eliminated him as the person responsible for the fluid on the robe and jeans, Allen remains behind bars.

Sources say Allen is still in prison because the prosecution's theory of the case has changed. Now the DNA test is being translated to show that Watters and Bell had consensual sex. If so, that means that after twenty years of insisting that Bell was wearing a robe and jeans when she was murdered, and that Allen's seminal fluid was on said robe and jeans, the circuit attorney's office has flip-flopped. Ironically, it also means Levine's argument for acquittal is now being given as the reason to keep Allen in prison.

There have been no formal motions to have Allen released -- though Barry Scheck says he will "eventually file" such a motion after getting more information from the prosecutor's office -- and no one has asked for a new trial in light of evidence unearthed by the DNA test. There hasn't even been a formal motion filed asking for post-conviction DNA testing. (In the past few years, Missouri law was changed to allow inmates convicted of crimes before DNA testing became widely used in the mid-to-late 1980s to petition a judge for an order mandating the test.)

"It shocks my conscience that they did these tests without the benefit of having filed a lawsuit where they could compel, through a court action, his release," Levine says. "They've done it via a handshake. And now we have results that appear to preclude George's possible involvement in this case, and now it sits and it lingers."

Levine isn't the only one frustrated with the slow pace of this case.

In a letter to the Riverfront Times dated March 14, 2004, Allen said that in December 2003, four months after the DNA results were completed, he was attacked by another inmate. Allen writes: "One of my eyes was stabbed out of my head." He is now partially blind.

"Right now I feel that the lawyer is just stringing me and my mother on for another twenty years of my life," Allen writes. "What more is it going to take for me to see my mother?"

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