Conviction in the rape of Alice Sebold, the award-winning author of “The Lovely Bones,” has been overturned 40 years later due to serious errors by the prosecution, officials said.

New York Supreme Court Justice Gordon Cuffy cleared Anthony Broadwater (61) of assaulting Sebold in 1981, when Sebold was 18 years old. Sebold, now 58, wrote about the attack in her 1999 memoir, “Lucky.”

Sebold identified Broadwater’s attacker as Broadwater in a lineup of police officers after the assault, which was later confirmed by Broadwater on the witness stand.

She wrote in “Lucky” that Broadwater and the other man in the lineup looked “almost identical” and that she feared a defense attorney would exploit a white woman’s confusion over two Black men.

Broadwater spent 16 years in prison and had been on New York’s sex offender registry since his release in 1999. He’ll now be taken off that list.

Broadwater shook his head and cried when the judge allowed him to go. (Watch the video. “I never, ever thought I would see the day that I would be exonerated,” he said after the hearing.

“I’ve been crying tears of joy and relief the last couple of days,” Broadwater told The Associated Press the following day. “I’m so elated, even the cold can’t keep me cold.”

He told The New York Times: “I just hope and pray that maybe Ms. Sebold will come forward and say, ‘Hey, I made a grave mistake,’ and give me an apology. “I sympathize with her. But she was wrong.”

Broadwater recalled the negative effects the conviction had on him, even after he was released from prison. He refused to have children because of the stigmaHe spoke out about the conviction to the Syracuse Post-Standard.

At his hearing, Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick called Broadwater’s conviction an injustice.

“I’m not going to sully this proceeding by saying ‘I’m sorry,’” said Fitzpatrick. “That doesn’t cut it. This should never have happened.”

Broadwater was convicted largely because of Sebold’s identification and because an expert witness testified that microscopic hair analysis had tied him to the rape. Since then, the Department of Justice has dismissed this type of analysis. It was the only forensic link to this crime.

Scrutiny of the case against Broadwater increased after “Lucky” was picked up in 2019 for a Netflix film.

Executive producer Tim Mucciante began questioning the conviction as he pored over the script and Sebold’s memoir. He decided to drop the project. hired a private detective in an investigation that ended up in Fitzpatrick’s office. It’s unclear what will happen to the film now.

Sebold is a San Francisco resident and could not be reached to comment.

Her most notable novel, “The Lovely Bones,” is about the rape and murder of a teenage girl. This bestseller is made into a movie2009


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