The filmmaker’s doubts help remove man convicted of author Alice Sebold’s rape – National

A man who was once convicted of raping American author Alice Sebold has been acquitted of any misdemeanor after a filmmaker who made a film about the case helped acquit him.

Anthony Broadwater spent 16 years in prison after a 1982 trial found him guilty of raping Sebold while she was an 18-year-old student at Syracuse University.

Sebold went on to tell the story in his memoirs from 1999, Lucky.

Alice Sebold on Tuesday apologized to Anthony Broadwater, 61, the man who was acquitted last week of the 1981 rape that was the basis of her memoir “Lucky.” She said she struggled with the role she unknowingly played “within a system that sent an innocent man to jail”.

Photo / Tina Fineberg / AP

This memoir was in the process of being adapted for film, but research into the film led a producer to become skeptical of Broadwater’s guilt, as the first draft of the screenplay differed so much from the book. That prompted Tim Mucciante to take a closer look at the circumstances that led to Broadwater’s conviction.

The story continues below the ad

“I started searching around and trying to figure out what really happened here,” Mucciante told the Associated Press on Tuesday.

Read more:

Texas girl shot and killed accidentally by dad on Thanksgiving hunting trip

Sebold, 58, entered Lucky to be raped in a tunnel as a first-year student in Syracuse in 1981 and then spot a black man on the street months later who she was sure was her attacker.

“He smiled as he approached. He recognized me. It was a walk in the park for him; he had met an acquaintance on the street,” wrote Sebold, who is white. “Hi, girl,” he said. “I know you not from somewhere? “

She said she did not respond, “I looked directly at him. Knew his face had been the face above me in the tunnel.”

Sebold went to the police but did not know the man’s name. Police were unable to locate him nearby, but an investigator suggested Sebold must have been Broadwater, who had recently been spotted in the area.

Read more:

The unhappy Gucci family suggests lawsuit against ‘House of Gucci’ production

But when Broadwater was arrested, Sebold failed to identify him in a police lineup, but instead chose another man as his attacker.

The story continues below the ad

Nevertheless, Broadwater was sent to trial and convicted on what is considered flimsy evidence by today’s standards; at the stand, Sebold identified him as her attacker, and an expert told the court they found microscopic hair analysis linking Broadwater to the crime scene.

According to the AP, that type of forensic analysis has been considered junk science for some time.

“Sprinkle some junk science on a faulty identification, and that’s the perfect recipe for a wrongful verdict,” Broadwater’s attorney David Hammond told the Syracuse Post-Standard.

Read more:

British pub guests stranded for three days after major snowstorm

Mucciante said that after dropping out of the project earlier this year, he hired a private detective who put him in touch with Hammond from Syracuse-based CDH Law, who picked up another defense attorney, Melissa Swartz from Cambareri & Brenneck.

Hammond and Swartz credited Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick for being interested in the case and understanding that scientific advances have cast doubt on the use of hair analysis, the only type of forensic evidence presented during Broadwater’s trial to connect him with Sebold’s rape.

Broadwater remained on New York’s registry of sex offenders for more than two decades after being released from prison in 1999, and spent many years working in sanitation after the verdict took seriously his job prospects. He also told the AP that his relationship with family and friends was severely tarnished.

The story continues below the ad

Fitzpatrick handed the news of the release to Broadwater in court on Monday, and the former accused sobbed and shook with relief, writes BBC News.

Anthony Broadwater, center, stares upward on Nov. 22 in Syracuse, NY, after Judge Gordon Cuffy overturned a 40-year rape sentence that wrongfully put him in state jail for Alice Sebold’s rape.

(Katrina Tulloch / The Post-Standard via AP

“I’m not going to defile this procedure by saying, ‘I’m sorry.’ It does not cut it, “Fitzpatrick said as he delivered the news, reporting the Post-Standard.” This should never have happened. “

Meanwhile, Sebold has apologized to Broadwater.

The story continues below the ad

“I’m most of all sorry that the life you could have lived was wrongfully robbed of you, and I know that no excuse can change what happened to you and never will. Of the many things, I wish you, I hope most of all that you and your family will have time and privacy to heal, ”she wrote in a statement on Medium.

Sebold issued a statement on Tuesday via the website Medium.

Screengrab / Medium

“My goal in 1982 was justice – not to perpetuate injustice. And certainly not to forever and irreparably change a young man’s life by the very crime that had changed mine,” the author continued.

“I am grateful that Mr Broadwater has finally been justified, but the fact is that 40 years ago he was yet another young black man brutalized by our flawed justice system. I will forever be sorry for what was done against him.”

The story continues below the ad

Publisher Simon and Schuster shared on Wednesday that it would no longer distribute Sebold’s memoirs.

Lucky launched Sebold’s writing career with sales of the book exceeding one million. She went on to write the novel The lovely bones, which was turned into an Oscar-nominated film by Peter Jackson.

In a statement to Entertainment Weekly, issued through his lawyers, Broadwater said: “I am relieved that she has apologized. It must have taken a lot of courage for her to do so. It is still painful for me because I was wrongfully convicted. , but this will help me in my process to come to terms with what happened. ”

If you believe someone is being abused, here is some information on supporting them and more information on security planning. If you think someone is abusing their partner, here is a list of resources to help. Do you experience abuse? How to get help

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


Give a Comment