Ac­cused was the source of sperm, trial told

But sci­ence can’t prove if homi­cide vic­tim Jiali Zhang con­sented to sex with Dal­i­bor Klaric

The Hamilton Spectator - - Local - SU­SAN CLAIR­MONT Su­san Clair­mont's com­men­tary ap­pears reg­u­larly in The Spec­ta­tor. sclair­[email protected]­ 905-526-3539 | @su­san­clair­mont

Dal­i­bor Klaric’s sperm was in­side the woman he beat to death.

But that is all that can be said defini­tively.

DNA sci­ence does not lie, and it says that Klaric “can­not be ex­cluded” as the source of sperm found in the body of Jiali Zhang, whom he has ad­mit­ted to pum­melling to death.

Jen­nifer McLean, a DNA ex­pert from Toronto’s Cen­tre of Foren­sic Sciences, ex­plained to the jury at Klaric’s first-de­gree mur­der trial Fri­day that the chance of that sperm be­long­ing to some­one other than the ac­cused is one in 40 bil­lion.

What sci­ence can­not know is how the sperm got there or whether it got there with the in­formed con­sent of Jiali.

McLean ex­plained to ju­rors that Klaric may have had sex with Jiali or his sperm may have been trans­ferred to her via an ob­ject be­ing in­serted into her body.

Ear­lier at the trial, which be­gan Mon­day, Dr. Chi­tra Rao, a re­tired foren­sic pathol­o­gist who did the au­topsy on Jiali, said there were no vis­i­ble signs of sex­ual as­sault on her body.

How­ever, when Crown at­tor­ney Todd Nor­man asked Rao if sex­ual as­sault al­ways re­sults in vis­i­ble signs, the pathol­o­gist an­swered no and said that, in fact, it is rare for there to be vis­i­ble signs.

The seven women and five men on the jury know that Jiali, 40, was work­ing as an es­cort when Klaric called her to his Stoney Creek apart­ment on Nov. 12, 2013.

They have also heard Nor­man lay out the Crown’s the­ory to them when he opened his case. He in­tends to prove that Klaric or­dered an es­cort for the pri­mary pur­pose of beat­ing her. Fur­ther­more, he in­tends to prove Jiali was sex­u­ally as­saulted.

Those two points be­come crit­i­cal when con­sid­er­ing the first­de­gree mur­der charge Klaric is fac­ing.

On the first day of his trial, Klaric told the court he wished to plead guilty to man­slaugh­ter. Nor­man, who is Hamil­ton’s head Crown at­tor­ney, re­fused to ac­cept that plea and con­tin­ued on with the first-de­gree mur­der trial . First-de­gree mur­der is a homi­cide that was ei­ther planned in ad­vance, or a homi­cide that in­volved a sex­ual as­sault.

Just after 11 p.m. on the night of the homi­cide, Klaric, who was 35 at the time, called 911.

“I want to re­port a mur­der,” he said.

Over the next 11 min­utes while he talked to the dis­patcher and waited for of­fi­cers to come to him, Klaric ex­plained he had “smashed” an es­cort with his fist. He said that ear­lier in the day, Vet­er­ans Af­fairs had re­jected his ap­pli­ca­tion for fi­nan­cial aid. He was briefly a soldier be­fore suf­fer­ing a her­nia and be­ing dis­charged.

The jury has seen au­topsy pho­tos of Jiali, whose face was beaten be­yond recog­ni­tion. Rao told the court the cause of death was “mul­ti­ple blunt force in­juries due to an as­sault.” No weapon was used, just fists.

Jiali suf­fered brain dam­age, a deep open gash across her nose through which bone could be seen, and a bro­ken and dis­lo­cated jaw.

Nearly ev­ery rib was bro­ken with many frac­tured in more than one place, and her air­ways were filled with blood.

Al­most her en­tire face and much of her body were pur­ple with bruises.

A knife found in Klaric’s bed­room, where Jiali’s naked body was lo­cated, had her blood on it, DNA test­ing showed. There were sev­eral small cuts on Jiali’s body, but Rao said they were su­per­fi­cial and did not con­trib­ute to her death.

DNA test­ing was also done on a black, rub­ber­ized work glove found in the bed­room and on a match­ing piece of fab­ric that ap­pears to be the glove’s miss­ing thumb.

Saliva on the fin­gers of the glove and on the sep­a­rate piece of fab­ric “can­not be ex­cluded” as be­long­ing to Jiali, tes­ti­fied McLean, the DNA ex­pert.

Un­der cross-ex­am­i­na­tion by Klaric’s lawyer, Jor­dana Goldlist, McLean noted that Klaric’s DNA was not found on the glove.

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