Robert McClendon has been behind bars in Ohio for 18 years for a rape he has always said he didn’t commit. On Tuesday, he got the DNA test results he’s been waiting for – tests on semen found on the underwear of the 10-year-old female victim showed that McClendon could not have been the attacker. The test results were shared with prosecutors, who are reviewing the case and may request additional tests. But McClendon celebrated the news immediately:
"Hello, truth!" he exclaimed. With steely eyes and a choked voice, he added, "I never, ever raped anyone."
…"I knew it wouldn't be a match for me," McClendon said. "My worst fear was it being inconclusive."
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. (Columbus Dispatch, 07/23/08)
McClendon’s case was featured in a Columbus Dispatch series in January highlighting 30 cases where a defendant seemed a prime candidate for DNA testing but had been denied access to the tests. Prosecutors have granted testing in 15 cases, and a private lab provided the testing for free. McClendon’s is the first result announced.
Read the full series here