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North Carolina Criminal Defense Attorneys

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DNA Exonerates Man Falsely Accused Of Sexual Assault

In 2006, Johnny Williams was sentenced to 16 years in prison after being convicted of sex offenses involving a minor, including lewd conduct and attempted rape. Williams was released from prison and paroled in January, 2013. Just days ago, his sex offense convictions were set aside and the case against him dismissed.

The eye witness was wrong. The jury was wrong. He was falsely accused and wrongly convicted of sex offenses involving a minor; Johnny Williams was innocent.

Williams had been convicted, at least in part, on the testimony of a nine-year-old girl who had identified him as the man that attacked her twice, on separate days, on her way home from school. The young girl had told her mother that the man who attacked her said his name was Johnny. From that point forward, her mother was certain that Johnny Williams was the culprit.

A relative who saw the young girl's attacker after the first instance was unable to identify Williams in a lineup, but later pointed him out as the culprit in court. The young girl picked Williams out in a photo lineup, but she had already heard or been told several times that he was her attacker.

During the second attack, the man who sexually assaulted the young girl ejaculated on her shirt. The police did not retrieve her shirt for analysis until 10 days after the attack. The lab found no semen on it.

But, with the help of the California DNA project, that same shirt would turn out to be Williams' key to freedom. A subsequent analysis did find biologic material on the shirt but it didn't match Williams' DNA. It was not a match for any information in the database. Although Williams had spent several years of his life in prison for a sex offense he did not commit, the little girl's attacker is or was still on the loose.

Source: The National Registry Of Exonerations, "Johnny Williams"

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