US & Canada

US man who denies crime released from jail after 28 years

Clarence Moses-EL and his grandchildren Image copyright AP
Image caption He was greeted by his grandchildren whom he'd never met

A US man who says he was wrongly accused of attacking a woman has walked free after 28 years in jail.

A judge overturned Clarence Moses-EL's rape and assault conviction, saying he would likely be found innocent if the case went to trial again.

He was first charged in 1988, despite the fact that the victim named someone else when originally asked who assaulted her.

She then identified him and said Mr Moses-EL's face came to her in a dream.

"This is the moment of my life, right here," Mr Moses-EL told reporters as he left the jail in Denver, Colorado. "I'm at a loss for words. I just want to get home to my family."

Now 60 years old, he hugged three of his 12 grandchildren for the first time outside of the jail.

Image copyright AP

"I'm just glad to be home," he said. "That surpasses a whole lot of things right now."

He said he was looking forward to going home and having pizza "with chopped shrimp and steak, smothered in cheese" and sitting in a comfortable chair.

He has been arguing his innocence for a long time - his case even brought about legislation requiring authorities to preserve DNA evidence, after police threw out swabs and clothing in his case.

Mr Moses-EL said his spirituality and innocence kept him going in prison.

Image copyright AP

Prosecutors are still deciding whether to try him again.

At the beginning of the case, the assault victim first named a man who said he had sex with her, then she said Mr Moses-EL's face came to her in a dream.

He won a legal bid for DNA testing of the evidence, but Denver police threw it away, and in 2008 the Colorado governor fought legislation that would have given him a new trial.

In 2013, the man who confessed to having sex with the victim wrote to Mr Moses-EL in jail. That was the key break in his case.


The wrong man - click here to watch a BBC investigation into another wrongful conviction case

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