News 06.25.14

New Orleans Man Exonerated After Serving Nearly 17 Years for an Attempted Rape that DNA Evidence Proves He Didn’t Commit


Will Be Released from Elayn Hunt Correctional Center and Attend Press Conference at Innocence Project New Orleans at 1:30 PM


 


Media Advisory for Wednesday, June 25 at 1:30 PM CDT


Contacts: Paul Cates,

PCates@innocenceproject.org


Jene O’Keefe-Trigg,

jeneot@ip-no.org


 


WHAT:

Earlier today, a Jefferson Parrish court vacated the rape conviction and dismissed the charges against Nathan Brown, who has been incarcerated nearly 17 years for an attempted rape that new DNA evidence proves he didn’t commit. Brown is expected to walk out of the Elayn Hunt Correctional Center this morning and will appear at a press conference at 1:30 PM.

 


WHO:

Nathan Brown, who served nearly 17 years for an attempted rape that new DNA evidence proves he didn’t commit; his legal team, including Innocence Project Co-Director Barry Scheck, Innocence Project Senior Staff Attorney Vanessa Potkin and Innocence Project New Orleans Staff Attorney Kristin Wenstrom; and other Louisiana exonerees.

 


WHERE:

Innocence Project of New Orleans

4051 Ulloa Street

New Orleans, LA 70119

 


WHEN:

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

1:30 PM CDT

 

Nathan Brown was at his home rocking his young daughter when police took him from his home and presented him in a highly suggestive show-up to a woman who had been attacked earlier on the grounds outside the apartment building where they both lived. Although the victim, who was white, told police that she observed her attacker get on a bike and leave the scene, police sought Brown based on the information from the building’s security guard who did not observe the incident.

 

The trial took place just three months after the crime. Brown met the lawyer retained by his mother for the first time on the day his trial was set to start. Brown and four of his relatives testified that he was at home caring for his “fussy infant daughter” at the time of the crime. Despite his alibi, Brown was convicted in less than a day and sentenced to 25 years in prison without the possibility of parole for the crime of attempted aggravated rape.

 

Brown, who always maintained his innocence, sought the help of the Innocence Project, which conducted DNA testing on a stain on the shoulder on the dress the victim was wearing where she was bitten. The stain tested positive for saliva and yielded a full male DNA profile that excluded Brown and matched to an offender convicted of a felony in Mississippi and, at the time of the crime, was a 17-year-old living within blocks of the complex where the victim was attacked.

 

The Innocence Project and Innocence Project New Orleans are independent 501(C)(3) organizations that are affiliated through the Innocence Network.

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