Man convicted of raping bestselling writer Alice Sebold exonerated after movie producer finds inconsistencies
A person convicted of raping bestselling writer Alice Sebold 40 years in the past was exonerated after a producer engaged on a movie adaptation of the author’s memoir discovered inconsistencies with the story.
“I’ve been crying tears of pleasure and reduction the final couple of days,” Anthony Broadwater, 61, informed The Related Press on Tuesday. “I’m so elated, the chilly can’t even hold me chilly.”
Broadwater, who spent 16 years in jail, was cleared Monday by a decide of raping Sebold when she was a pupil at Syracuse College, an assault she wrote about in her 1999 memoir, “Fortunate.” The memoir preceded Sebold’s ebook, “The Pretty Bones,” which grew to become a bestseller after its launch in 2002 and was later made right into a film.
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The exoneration comes after a producer engaged on a movie adaptation of the memoir grew to become skeptical that Broadwater was a responsible man. Preliminary media reviews acknowledged the variation of “Fortunate” was a Netflix undertaking, however the streaming and manufacturing firm stated it’s not concerned within the undertaking.
Tim Mucciante, who has a manufacturing firm known as Pink Badge Movies, had signed on as government producer of the variation however grew to become skeptical of Broadwater’s guilt when the primary draft of the script got here out as a result of it differed a lot from the ebook.
“I began poking round and making an attempt to determine what actually occurred right here,” Mucciante informed the AP on Tuesday.
Mucciante stated that after dropping out of the undertaking earlier this 12 months, he employed a personal investigator who put him in contact with lawyer David Hammond of Syracuse-based CDH Legislation, who introduced in fellow protection lawyer Melissa Swartz, of Cambareri & Brenneck.
Hammond and Swartz credited Onondaga County, New York, District Legal professional William Fitzpatrick for taking a private curiosity within the case and understanding that scientific advances have solid doubt on the usage of hair evaluation, the one sort of forensic proof that was produced at Broadwater’s trial to hyperlink him to Sebold’s rape.
Fitzpatrick informed state Supreme Courtroom Justice Gordon Cuffy on the courtroom listening to that Broadwater’s prosecution was an injustice, The Publish-Normal of Syracuse reported.
“I’m not going to sully this continuing by saying, ‘I’m sorry.’ That doesn’t reduce it,” Fitzpatrick stated. “This could by no means have occurred.”
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Sebold, 58, wrote in “Fortunate” of being raped as a first-year pupil at Syracuse in Might 1981 after which recognizing a Black man on the street months later that she was certain was her attacker.
“He was smiling as he approached. He acknowledged me. It was a stroll within the park to him; he had met an acquaintance on the road,” wrote Sebold, who’s White. “‘Hey, lady,’ he stated. ‘Don’t I do know you from someplace?’”
Sebold went to the police, however she didn’t know the person’s identify and an preliminary sweep of the realm didn’t find him. An officer steered the person on the street should have been Broadwater, who had supposedly been seen within the space.
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Broadwater was arrested, however Sebold didn’t determine him in a police lineup, choosing a distinct man as her attacker as a result of “the expression in his eyes informed me that if we had been alone, if there have been no wall between us, he would name me by identify after which kill me.”
Broadwater was tried and convicted in 1982 based mostly largely on two items of proof. On the witness stand, Sebold recognized him as her rapist. And an professional stated microscopic hair evaluation had tied Broadwater to the crime. That sort of study has since been deemed junk science by the U.S. Division of Justice.
“Sprinkle some junk science onto a defective identification, and it’s the proper recipe for a wrongful conviction,” Hammond informed the Publish-Normal.
The AP stated messages to Sebold searching for remark had been despatched by her writer and her literary company.
Broadwater, who has labored as a trash hauler and a handyman within the years since his 1999 launch from jail, informed the AP that the rape conviction blighted his job prospects and his relationships with family and friends members.
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The Related Press contributed to this report.
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