Justice at last 32 years on

More than 30 years ago, long before the advent of DNA technology, Dr. Rudiger Breitenecker began freezing semen samples taken from rape victims in the hope that they might one day be useful to the police.

He didn't know what science might exist in the future, but he felt it was important to preserve the only physical link between victims and their assailants.

Breitenecker saw his foresight pay off when serial rapist Alphonso W. Hill received a sentence that will likely keep him in prison for the rest of his life. It was evidence collected by Breitenecker that conclusively linked Hill to a series of attacks.

Hill's victims, their relatives and prosecutors burst into applause during sentencing in a Baltimore County courtroom when Circuit Judge Dana M. Levitz thanked the 79-year-old retired pathologist, calling Breitenecker "a visionary.''

"It's satisfying, particularly after such a long time,'' Breitenecker said of Hill's sentence.

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Justice at last 32 years on