DNA Evidence Points to Florida Man’s Innocence


James Bain was 19 years old when he was convicted of kidnapping and raping a young boy in Florida and sentenced to life in prison. Now, 35 years later, his attorneys say new DNA tests prove he is innocent of the crime.

The Innocence Project of Florida, working with local public defenders, requested DNA tests in July and received the results yesterday. They show that biological evidence from the perpetrator did not come from Bain. The results were sent to the State’s Attorney’s office today, and Bain’s attorneys are requesting that his conviction be overturned immediately, “before he spends his 36th Christmas locked up for a crime he didn’t have anything to do with.”

An assistant state’s attorney told the St. Petersburg Times that his office is reviewing the DNA results and considering what steps to take next. Bain was denied DNA tests in 2001, 2003 and 2006 before they were finally granted this year.

The victim identified Bains in a photo lineup before trial. The St. Petersburg Times has more background:

Police said the child described the rapist this way: “Bushy sideburns … 17 or 18 … he said his name was Jim.”

The boy’s uncle, who was at the house, said the description pointed to Jimmy Bain.

Jimmy Bain, 18, who had been a student at the high school where the uncle was assistant principal. Jimmy Bain who had bushy sideburns and rode around town on a motorcycle. Jimmy Bain, whom the boy said he had seen before, though it was hard to describe him because he wore a helmet.

Police went to Bain’s home and took his picture. They mixed it in with color Polaroids of four other young men. The boy picked Bain.

Later, in a deposition, the boy described how he identified his attacker to a police officer.

“He asked me can I pick out Jimmie Bains,” the boy said. “And I picked him out.”

Read the full story here

. (St. Petersburg Times, 12/09/09)

Visit the Innocence Project of Florida website


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