PORTLAND, Maine — The Maine supreme court this week denied an appeal by a man serving a life sentence for a rape and killing in 1994.

Foster Bates contended post-trial tests found the DNA of three other men on a sock used to gag the victim, and that the evidence could’ve yielded an acquittal if it’d been available at his trial.

The court ruled Tuesday that the DNA test was inconclusive and did not justify a new trial.

Bates was convicted in 2002 in the death of 22-year-old Tammy Dickson, who was found bound and gagged in her South Portland apartment on Feb. 20, 1994. Her 2-year-old son remained in a crib for three days.

Bates’ attorney says the two had a consensual sexual relationship but that Bates did not kill the woman.