Man jailed for raping The Lovely Bones author Alice Sebold has conviction overturned

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A man wrongfully found guilty of rape lovely bones In 1981 author Alice Seybold, a crime described in her 1999 memoir, has her sentence overturned.

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Anthony Broadwater, 61, trembled with emotion and sobbed with his head in his hands as a judge vacated a conviction at the request of prosecutors on Monday.

“I never, never thought I’d see the day I’d be exonerated,” said Mr Broadwater, who spent 16 years in prison for raping the famous author as a first-year student at Syracuse University in 1981. Had spent


Ms Sebold, 58, wrote about being attacked in her memoir lucky, and then months later saw a black man in the street whom he identified as his attacker.

“He was smiling as he approached. He recognized me. It was like a walk in the park for him; he had met an acquaintance on the street,” wrote Ms. Sebold.

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“Hey, girl,” he said. ‘Don’t I know you from somewhere?'”

She said she didn’t respond: “I looked straight at her. Knew that his face in the tunnel was the face above mine. ,

Ms Sebold went to the police, but did not know the man’s name and failed to locate him early in the area.

An officer suggested that the man in the street may have been Mr Broadwater, who was reportedly seen in the area.

After Mr Broadwater’s arrest, Miss Seybold failed to identify him in a police lineup, choosing a different man as her assailant because “the expression in his eyes told me that if we were alone, if there was no one among us.” If there was no wall, he would call me by name and then kill me.”

Mr Broadwater was nevertheless tried and convicted in 1982 on the basis of two evidence.

At the witness stand, Ms Sebold identified him as her rapist. And one expert said microscopic hair analysis had linked Broadwater to crime. That type of analysis has since been deemed junk science by the US Department of Justice, the Associated Press reported.

Miss Sebold’s 2003 Book lovely bones, About the rape and murder of a teenage girl, it won the American Booksellers Association Book of the Year Award for Adult Fiction in 2003 and was made into a film starring Saoirse Ronan, Susan Sarandon and Michael Imperioli.

lucky It was also in the process of being adapted into a film, and while filmmakers were drafting a script for the film, they suspected Mr. Broadwater’s guilt.

Former executive producer Tim Mukiante said he wanted to learn more about the matter after noticing discrepancies between the first draft of the script and the book.

“I started poking around and trying to figure out what really happened here,” Mr Muciante told the Associated Press on Tuesday.

After dropping out of the project, the filmmaker hired a private investigator, who put him in touch with David Hammond and Melissa Swartz of Syracuse-based firm CDH Law.

He contacted Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick, who took a personal interest in the case and had an understanding of how scientific advances have cast doubt on the use of hair analysis.

On Monday, Mr Fitzpatrick told Justice Gordon Cuffy of the state Supreme Court that Mr Broadwater’s prosecution was an injustice.

“I’m not going to spoil the proceedings by saying ‘I’m sorry.’ It doesn’t cut it,” said Mr. Fitzpatrick. “It should never have happened.”

Off Court, Mr. Broadwater told Syracuse’s Post-Standard The district attorney had personally apologized before the court hearing.

“When he talked to me about the wrong that had been done to me, I couldn’t help but cry,” said Mr. Broadwater.

“The relief that a district attorney of that magnitude would confer with me in this case is so profound, I don’t know what to say.”

Mr Broadwater, who has worked as a garbage hauler and a handyman in the years since his release from prison in 1999, told The Associated Press that the rape sentence had reduced his job prospects and that of friends and family members. His relations with him were tarnished.

Even after marrying a woman who believed in his innocence, Mr. Broadwater never wanted to have children.

Now he will be cut from the register of sex offender.

Ms Sebald’s publisher Scribner, a division of Simon & Schuster, told Granthshala The author had no comments.

The fate of the film adaptation of lucky is ambiguous.

The Associated Press contributed to this report


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