A black man was cleared of a rape charge after spending 47 years behind bars after the white victim of the attack admitted she might have identified the wrong person.
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 yesterday, a day after leaving prison, saying: “I’m so happy to be out. I can’t think about the past. I just have to try to move on and take it one day at a time. I thank God for answering my prayers that I got out, because I didn’t think I was going to get out.”
Clark also shared his sympathy for Anthony Broadwater, 61, who spent 16 years behind bars for the rape of The Lovely Bones author Sebold. Broadwater was exonerated by a court on Wednesday – the day after Clark was cleared – after he too was revealed to have been the victim of an identification mix-up.
Clark said of Broadwater: “One year is a lot taken out of a person’s life. 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 neighbourhood.
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 ago.