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National

TN: Man spent 11 years in prison for rape he didn’t commit

NASHVILLE — ____ ____ didn’t rape that 12-year-old girl in March 1999.

It’s a truth he bore for 11 years and three months in a Tennessee prison cell. Few believed him until DNA evidence in 2008 proved he didn’t sexually assault a preteen neighbor. Three more years passed before he was released from prison — and even then he still faced being tried on the charges all over again.

But April 4, in light of the DNA evidence and a wavering victim, prosecutors in Marshall County finally dropped all charges. Full Article

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  1. Someone who cares

    Another proof of the injustice taking place way too many times. The odds were one in 290 that it was his semen, so what happened to “Beyond a reasonable doubt”. It is very scary that only one person’s word holds that much power to ruin somebody else’s life. Disgusting.

  2. Q

    This is another tragedy made possible by this country’s belief that incarceration is the answer to all this nations ills. I think it’s pretty safe to assume that most people that visit this site are aware of the fact that the USA has 5% of the worlds population and 25% of the worlds prisoners. The point being; is it any wonder that so many innocent people get caught up in the mass incarceration hysteria that has swept this land? Here in the USA people get locked up for years for things that are not considered a crime in most of the world, and prosecutors and police are beginning to look and act like they learned their profession by way of a mail order catalog. I assume there are thousands of innocent people in jail and prisons right now because of the ease in which the law can be abused, manipulated and misused by the general public and the authorities. I’ll bet a nickel that not a single person that made this mans real time nightmare possible is going to step forward to admit they were wrong. The simple fact that this justice system we have is broken on so many levels says there were many people that made this tragedy possible.

  3. April Stapleton

    Another sad story of injustice, but luckily, eventually the charges were dismissed. That is horrible it took so long. My husband was convicted by a jury six years after news and media coverage surely swayed their opinion. He was convicted of Attempted Aggravated Rape of a 23 year old female even though the DNA proved he did NOT do it. The Sullivan County, TN’s DA’s office simply dropped the charge from Rape to Attempted Rape since the alleged victim had been murdered in an alleged drug deal gone wrong in a neighboring county by a man that took the Alford Plea for her murder and served only 11 months 29 days, while my husband spent the ENTIRE 12 year sentence in prison for a crime he didn’t commit simply because a guy shot him at a drinking/drug party at the shooter’s residence. He allegedly didn’t want to go to prison for attempted murder of my husband and allegedly told the female to say he raped her. I believe she would have told the truth in court, however, she was found in a river three weeks after the alleged rape (at the home party). The incident occured in Sept 2002 and she was found in river 3 weeks later. She had helped my husband to the next door neighbor’s home to get him help after he was shot. He was flown to the local trauma center where he was hospitalized for 10 days, not knowing anything was going on. He was arrested for Rape in March the following year, not being able to face his accuser at trial since she had been deceased for almost 6 months. It’s a tragic and heart-breaking ordeal. I, myself, feel like my civil liberties and constitutional rights have been taken away and/or altered. He has been out of prison for 4 years this month. He is on Community Supervision for Life due to the conviction even though he served his entire sentence. He has to attend monthly parole meeting with his parole officer. He has monthly home visits by Parole Officer. He has to attend a once weekly Sex Offender Treatment Therapy Class for the past four years. He has to take a polygraph and the penile test or eye test every six months. He wore an ankle GPS monitor bracelet for the first two years he was released home due to test results of Sex Offender Treatment Therapists. He got his ankle bracelet put back on for “compliance” issues, not punitive, due to failing a polygraph. Even though he passed a drug test immediately and the deception was about drugs and visiting a park (the polygraph examiner was shown the ankle monitor at that point to disprove the validity of that “deception” as well). However, you cannot argue or make an actual complaint to anyone because they simply say it is just compliance related and he is not being repeatedly punished. Easy for them to say to a man that served 100% time for a crime he didn’t even commit. I do get happy when I read a story about someone that finally gets justice.

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