Black Man Wrongly Convicted Of Raping Stepdaughter Walks Free From Prison

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A New Orleans man walked free after spending 29 years in prison for the rape of his stepdaughter, which he didn't commit, CNN reports.

The case of Patrick Brown dates back to 1994 when he was convicted of raping his 6-year-old stepdaughter. During the trial, Brown pleaded not guilty and the stepdaughter didn't testify, but adults testified “to what they believed she had said.”

The stepdaughter has repeatedly urged the DA to review the case and prosecute the actual perpetrator over the past 20 years. The office's civil rights division launched an investigation into the case and found evidence that corroborated the victim's account, which prompted the court to rectify Brown's wrongful conviction.

“This victim has endured not just the deep trauma of child sexual assault, but the trauma of knowing the wrong man has been imprisoned for almost three decades while the man who raped her walked free,” Civil Rights Division Chief Emily Maw said. “This is a very sad case, but we are hopeful that this will bring some closure to the victim and that she, and Mr. Brown, can move forward in healing.”

Brown was released from prison on Monday (May 8) after Judge Calvin Johnson vacated his conviction.

“Listening to and truly hearing survivors of sexual assault is a top priority in this office,” Orleans Parish District Attorney Jason Williams said in a statement. “It is heart-wrenching to know that this woman was dismissed and ignored, no matter how inconvenient her truth, when all she wanted was for the real offender to be held responsible.”

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