SYRACUSE, N.Y. —A rape conviction at the center of a memoir by award-winning author Alice Sebold has been overturned because of what authorities determined were serious flaws with the 1982 prosecution and concerns the wrong man had been sent to jail.
Anthony Broadwater, who spent 16 years in prison, was cleared Monday by a judge of raping Sebold when she was a student at Syracuse University, an assault she wrote about in her 1999 memoir, “Lucky.”
Broadwater shook with emotion, sobbing as his head fell into his hands, as the judge in Syracuse vacated his conviction at the request of prosecutors.
“I’ve been crying tears of joy and relief the last couple of days,” Broadwater, 61, told The Associated Press on Tuesday. “I’m so elated, the cold can’t even keep me cold.”
Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick told state Supreme Court Justice Gordon Cuffy at the court hearing that Broadwater’s prosecution was an injustice, The Post-Standard of Syracuse reported.
“I’m not going to sully this proceeding by saying, ‘I’m sorry.’ That doesn’t cut it,” Fitzpatrick said. “This should never have happened.”