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DNA evidence exonerates man of sex crime 24 years later

As we have written about previously on this blog, sexually-based crimes are very serious matters for everyone involved. Obviously the victim has been violated and this incident will haunt them for some time, but the offender is also in a very serious position too. He or she will face extremely severe punishment if they are found guilty of the crime -- punishment that will essentially last the rest of their lives.

So when it comes to sex crimes, the police need to make sure they get the right suspect. There is a lot at stake here. The victim wants to move on, and the best way for that to happen is with the right justice; whereas the police don't want to lock away the wrong person.

It appears that is what happened with a 1990 rape case. A man was accused of raping a young girl, and he was convicted in part because the girl identifed him as her attacker. She was only able to lift up the attacker's mask a little bit, but she still identified the man, who is now 57.

As it turns out, he did not commit the crime. DNA evidence exonerated him from the crime. He spent about 12 years in jail, including a little bit more time in jail after that for failing to register as a sex offender.

The exoneration is especially surprising because the man did not push for his exoneration. In fact, he had no idea the DNA testing could clear his name. He didn't petition for it or anything -- it just cleared him.

Source: Washington Post, "Texas man exonerated through DNA testing he didn't know was going to happen," Mark Berman, July 25, 2014

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