After 47 years in prison, a black man was released from a rape case after his victim admitted that she may have misidentified the attacker.
A judge vacated Tyrone Clark’s 1974 conviction for raping Anne Kane on Tuesday, just a day after another black man wrongly accused of raping author Alice Sebold was exonerated.
Clark gave his first interview to DailyMail.com on Thursday, a day after leaving prison, saying: ‘I’m so happy to be out. I can’t think about the past. The only thing I can do is move on, and try to enjoy each moment. I thank God for answering my prayers that I got out, because I didn’t think I was going to get out.’
Clark expressed sympathy to Anthony Broadwater, the 61-year-old man who spent 16 years in jail for the rape conviction of Sebold (The Lovely Bones) author. A court exonerated Broadwater on Wednesday, the day after Clark had been cleared. It was after it was discovered that he was also the victim of an identity mix-up.
Clark said of Broadwater: ‘One year is a lot taken out of a person’s life.’
Tyrone Clark left prison Wednesday, after his 1974 conviction for rape was overturned by a judge
‘I was telling the guys when I left the prison that there are a lot of innocent men in the same situation as in my shoes. And I promised I’m not going to leave them behind.
‘The injustice in society is very messed up.’
Clark, 66, was freed after Suffolk Superior Court Judge Christine Roach said there was no indication DNA on victim Kane’s clothing – considered critical evidence in the case – was preserved by investigators in 1973 following the rape in Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood.
The handle of a knife used in the assault was also compromised by being touched throughout the past four decades as the victim came forward with ‘genuine concerns’ regarding the accuracy of her identification nearly 50 years go.
This is the second instance in a week where a black male has been released from prison after being wrongfully held for rape. The man who was convicted 40 years ago of raping the award-winning author Sebold was also freed.
Clark, then 18, was sentenced in 1973 to life imprisonment for the rape and attempted murder of Anne Kane (23). In 1973, a man broke into Kane’s Back Bay apartment.
Anthony Broadwater, 61, spent 16 years behind bars for the 1981 rape that was the focus of Sebold’s career-making 1999 memoir Lucky.
Clark left North Central Correctional Institute, Gardner, Wednesday afternoon, without identification or any phone number, bank account, telephone, or working knowledge on the Internet.
Clark (right), was taken in to Jerry Brogna’s (left), who opened Christopher’s House, a boarding establishment in memory of his deceased son.
Jeff Harris his lawyer took him to dinner at a local restaurant. He enjoyed chicken, onion rings, fries, soda and dessert.
Clark and Jerry Brogna were to meet for Thanksgiving Day dinner. Jerry Brogna was a stranger who invited Clark.
‘He’s an angel from God,’ Clark said. ‘He gave me clothes and stuff and all that I needed. The day of my release, I had nowhere to go and this guy opened his house for me.’
Brogna founded a boarding facility called Christopher’s House following the death of his 23-year-old son in 2007 and took Clark in after being contacted by the former inmate’s social worker.
Rachael Rolleins, Suffolk District Attorney filed in September a motion supporting Clark’s request for a fresh trial.
He’s now trying to help Clark navigate a world that’s changed drastically since his 1973 conviction.
‘I had a room available and it grew from there,’ Brogna told DailyMail.com. ‘We’re bound together now and going forward to make sure he understands what’s happening out here. A lot of things are changing.’
Clark served nearly 50 years prison time after being convicted for raping Anne Kane (23) in June 1973. He was attacked by someone in her Back Bay apartment, and then raped Kane at knifepoint.
Clark was only 18 when he was arrested.
He said that he was allowed to go in 2005, but was returned to jail within a year for violating conditions of parole.
His mother and other relatives died while he was imprisoned a second time, and he said he’s now trying to track down where his mom is buried.
‘It’s kind of sad because I want to go visit my mother and the rest of my family that passed away,’ he said, fighting back tears. ‘I just want to find my mother so I can go visit her.’
Rachael Rollers, Suffolk County District attorney filed a motion in support of Clark’s petition to have a second trial. She claimed Kane might have misidentified Clark.
Kane wrote in the letter that he was not certain his identification was accurate.
Rachael Rollers, Suffolk County District attorney said the evidence in Clark’s case had been destroyed
Kane, a white woman of color, stated that at the time she believed the courts would provide fair trials. But now, Kane recognizes the vast flaws in our criminal justice system.
She claims that she wasn’t able to correctly identify her attacker due to not knowing any blacks at the time.
Rollins filed a nolle prosequi on Wednesday, formally ending Clark’s rape case.
‘This case came to my office’s attention after the victim, unsolicited, raised serious doubts about her identification of the defendant,’ Rollins said in a press release. ‘When we began looking further into the case, we learned that nearly half a century ago, the Commonwealth lost or destroyed evidence that had the potential to be exculpatory.
‘Both the defendant and this administration have been denied the opportunity to perform modern forensic testing due the failure of previous administrations to maintain that DNA evidence. The Commonwealth should never benefit from our failures and wrongdoings.’
Broadwater was exonerated in an identical case. This happened after the producer of a Netflix movie adaptation of Broadwater’s memoir discovered inconsistencies. He hired a private detective to investigate the matter and sent it back to court. The memoir described how Broadwater was raped by a man of color in a tunnel as a first-year student at Syracuse University in 1981. Over 1million copies were sold.
Sebold (left), is seen in 2018. Tim Mucciante (right), a producer who had been working on an adaptation to her bestseller Lucky, quit in order to dive into the case.
Broadwater was sentenced in 1982, after Sebold (now 59) identified him in court as her rapist. He had been walking past her in the streets months before the attack. She then claimed that he was her rapist but didn’t remember his name.
Broadwater wasn’t named until Broadwater was identified by a police officer who had seen him in the region at the time of the incident.
She chose the man next to her in a line of police officers.
Anthony Broadwater was seen outside Syracuse Courthouse Monday. He spent 16 years behind bars. A judge cleared him Monday of Alice Sebold, the raping author, when she was still a Syracuse University student. This assault was detailed in her 1999 memoir, “Lucky”.
Broadwater was still being tried, and Sebold did decide to pick him. Hair analysis was the other evidence to convict him. However, the DoJ has always considered the method unreliable.
Broadwater was released in 1999 after he had written the book. Broadwater lived an ordinary life after his release, working as a trash truck driver and married but refused to have children due to the stigma of his conviction for rape.
Because he was on the list of sex criminals, he claimed he was considered a pariah.
Sebold’s professional career soared in that time.
Her 2002 book, The Lovely Bones was published. It is a similar story that revolves around child kidnap or rape. The book sold more than 5 million copies in America and earned $60 million in sales. In 2009, it was made into a Hollywood blockbuster movie starring Saoirse Roan, Stanley Tucci, and Mark Wahlberg.
Clark was a North Central Correctional Institute prisoner for nearly 50 years.
Despite all he’s been through, Clark said he’s thankful that the rape victim in his case ultimately came forward with concerns about a wrongful conviction.
‘It took a lot of courage to do what she did,’ he said. ‘God bless, even though it took so long for her to come forward, I still forgive her. She was never attacked and I have never been convicted of this crime. I’ve held my innocence for 50 years.’
A GoFundMe for Clark had raised nearly $6,000 as of early Thursday afternoon.