CLEVELAND (AP) — An Ohio man who spent nearly 30 years in prison is being released after new DNA tests showed he didn’t rape an 11-year-old girl.
Raymond Towler had been serving a life sentence for the rape of a girl in a Cleveland park in 1981. Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Eileen Gallagher choked back tears as she vacated the conviction on Wednesday and left the bench to shake Towler’s hand at the defense table.
WATCH MSNBC COVERAGE OF TOWLER’S REVERSAL OF FORTUNE:
Prosecutors had asked the court to act immediately after receiving the test results Monday.
The Ohio Innocence Project, an organization that uses DNA evidence to clear people wrongfully convicted of crimes, says Towler has served the second-longest amount of time among prisoners in the U.S. who were eventually exonerated by DNA.
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