Monday, August 02, 2010

He Served 27 Years For a Rape He Didn't Commit

Michael Anthony Green was eighteen when he ended up in custody for a rape he didn't commit. It took 27 years before he was freed from Harris County Jail in Texas. Associated Press writer Juan A. Lozano had the story.

Green, 44, was released after the Harris County District Attorney's Office reopened his case and new DNA tests it commissioned showed he did not commit the 1983 rape of a woman who had been abducted. During a court hearing Friday, a judge ordered that Green be released on a $500 bond, allowing him to be free while the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals makes a final ruling on his innocence.
Unlike the last story I mentioned, the woman in this case was actually raped.

In 1983, four men abducted a woman from a pay telephone in north Houston, taking her to a remote location where three of them raped her. The men drove off, leaving the woman there, and were later chased by police. The men abandoned their car and fled on foot. Green was detained by officers that night as he walked in the area.

The victim could not identify Green in person when he was first detained but later picked him from a photo lineup as one of her attackers. Green was convicted of aggravated sexual assault and sentenced to 75 years in prison. He was the only person convicted in the case.
I would hope the other guys were picked up for other crimes or received justice in some other form. However...

Authorities were able to identify the four men who abducted the women. But because the statute of limitations on the rape has run out, they cannot be prosecuted.
That sucks. However, guys like that don't just commit crime once. If they aren't currently serving time, there has to be something more recent for which they can be busted. Also, I wonder if the woman can still sue them in a civil trial?

Although the article doesn't mention it, you can count on Green suing and getting at least seven figures in a settlement.

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