A doctor was accused of raping a woman while she was sedated in his office. He was cleared after DNA tests did not match. It was later discovered that he foiled the DNA test by implanting a tube of another man’s blood under his skin.
John Schneeberger (born 1961) is a South African former physician who lived and practised in Canada, who drugged and raped one of his female patients and his stepdaughter. For years, he was able to evade arrest by planting a fake DNA sample inside his own body, thus successfully foiling DNA tests.
Schneeberger was accused of serious sexual crimes, and convicted after several times successfully foiling DNA tests.
On the night of 31 October 1992, Schneeberger sedated his 23-year-old patient, Candice, and raped her. While Versed — the anesthetic he used — has strong amnesiac effect, Candice was still able to remember the rape. She reported the crime to the police.
Schneeberger’s blood sample was, however, found not to match the samples of the alleged rapist’s semen, thus clearing him of suspicion. In 1993, at the victim’s request, the test was repeated, but the result was negative, as well. In 1994, the case was closed.
Candice, still convinced that her recollections were true, hired Larry O’Brien, a private detective, to investigate the case. He broke into Schneeberger’s car and obtained another DNA sample, which, this time, matched the semen on the victim’s underwear and pants. As a result, a third official test was organized. The obtained blood sample was, however, found to be too small and of too poor quality to be useful for analysis.
In 1997, Lisa Schneeberger found out that her husband had repeatedly drugged and raped her 15-year-old daughter from her first marriage. She reported him to the police, which ordered a fourth DNA test. This time, multiple samples were taken: blood, mouth swab, and hair follicle. All three matched the rapist’s semen.
During his 1999 trial, Schneeberger revealed the method he used to foil the DNA tests. He implanted a 15 cm Penrose drain filled with another man’s blood and anticoagulants in his arm. During tests, he tricked the laboratory technician into taking the blood sample from the place the tube was planted.
He was found guilty of sexual assault, of administering a noxious substance, and of obstruction of justice, and received a six-year prison sentence.
The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Saskatchewan stripped Schneeberger of his medical license and his wife divorced him.
In 2003 Schneeberger was released on parole after serving four years in prison. He was stripped of his Canadian citizenship due to having obtained his citizenship illegally, untruthfully denying to a citizenship judge that he had been the subject of a police investigation, and deported to South Africa in 2004. He moved to Durban to live with his mother.