False Rape Accusation Leads to Conviction Being Overturned After Man Spends 11 Years In Prison
In recent years, a number of inmates have been released after spending decades in prison. Often, the accused is exonerated based on DNA evidence. In some of those cases, the accused pled guilty to avoid a more severe sentence, even though he had maintained his innocence in private. A recent article in the American Bar Association’s online version of the Journal highlights a recent case where a man accused of raping his own daughter was exonerated after he had spent 11 years in prison. His release from prison was not based on DNA evidence, but based on the daughter admitting she had made the whole story up because she was mad at her father after he and her mother got divorced. She had heard about a friend who had been molested by a relative, and decided to make the same claim against her father to get back at him. Child molestation cases are extremely difficult to defend. Because of laws that allow late reporting, and which have virtually eliminated the statute of limitations for bringing such actions, a child can make an accusation long after any physical evidence would be testable to prove the event didn’t occur. Therefore, the cases often come down to the proverbial “he said / she said,” and juries tend to believe children over adults. The case discussed in this article shows that justice can come to those falsely accused, however it is often after a great price has been paid by an innocent person.