NY Man Awarded $5.5m In Settlement After Being Imprisoned For 16 Years For Crime He Didn’t Commit
A man who spent 16 years in prison after being falsely accused of rape, was awarded $5.5m in a settlement with the state of New York.
Anthony Broadwater spent 16 years in prison and four decades falsely accused of rape before he was exonerated, his attorneys said on Monday, The Independent reported.
He was accused in 1981 of raping writer Alice Sebold when she was a student at Syracuse University, a conviction that was overturned in 2021 – 40 years later.
One of Broadwater’s lawyers, David Hammond, said on Monday that the agreement was signed by Mr. Broadwater’s attorneys and lawyers for New York Attorney General Letitia James.
Broadwater said he’s thankful for what James has done to clear his name.
“I appreciate what Attorney General James has done, and I hope and pray that others in my situation can achieve the same measure of justice. We all suffer from destroyed lives,” Broadwater said in a statement. “I hope and pray that others in my situation can achieve the same measure of justice. We all suffer from destroyed lives.”
“Obviously no amount of money can erase the injustices Mr. Broadwater suffered, but the settlement now officially acknowledges them,” Ms. Sebold said via a spokesperson, according to The Independent.
According to the report, Sebold was raped in a park close to campus as an 18-year-old when she was a freshman at Syracuse.
Broadwater was then arrested by police. But when faced with his appearance in a police lineup, Ms. Sebold chose a different man as her attacker. But Mr. Broadwater was still tried and convicted in 1982.
On the witness stand, Ms. Sebold said he had raped her and an expert said that microscopic hair analysis linked him to the crime. The Department of Justice has since qualified such analysis to be junk science.
In 2021, Sebold apologized to Broadwater
“As a traumatized 18-year-old rape victim, I chose to put my faith in the American legal system. My goal in 1982 was justice — not to perpetuate injustice. And certainly not to forever, and irreparably, alter a young man’s life by the very crime that had altered mine,” she wrote in a statement shared on Medium.
Broadwater, who was released from prison in 1999, had to register as a sex offender until November 2021, when his conviction was vacated.
The settlement has to be approved by a judge before it can go ahead.
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