News 07.15.16

Innocence Project Asks Court to Order Search for Evidence that Could Prove Innocence of Convicted Serial Rapist

By Innocence Staff

An attorney from the Innocence Project appeared before Common Pleas Judge Philip Ignelzi in Pennsylvania today to ask the court to order Allegheny County to search its facilities for more than 100 pieces of evidence that the attorney believes may help to clear her client, Dennis Foy, of his rape conviction. He is currently serving up to 200 years in prison.

In the fall of 1987, Foy was arrested for breaking into the homes of numerous Homestead women—who were between the ages of 64 and 85 years old—and raping and robbing them. According to a 1987 story by the New York Times, the crimes happened over the course of four years. Foy, who was 22 at the time, became a suspect when someone implicated him during an interview with investigators; police then said that they found Foy’s fingerprints at one of the crime scenes and that he confessed during an interrogation. He was found guilty of four of the rapes.

But Innocence Project Staff Attorney Karen Thompson, who is representing Foy, argues that the conviction is based on outdated science, a contested confession and a questionable investigation. Thompson wants to have crime scene evidence tested for DNA. According to the county, however, the evidence related to the case was destroyed by the county after it became contaminated following a local flood. Nonetheless, Thompson believes that conducting a search for the evidence is necessary.

“While the evidence from Mr. Foy’s investigation was presumed to have been destroyed as a result of the flood, no conclusive documentation or testimony regarding its destruction has ever been presented,” wrote Thompson.

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