North Carolina Man Expected to be Released
On Monday, a Superior Court judge in North Carolina dismissed all charges and vacated the convictions of Michael Parker who was convicted of multiple sex crimes against his three children. Parker spent more than 20 years behind bars and is expected to be released from Craggy Correctional Center today.
In January 1994, Parker was convicted of eight counts of first-degree sex offense and four counts of taking indecent liberties with a minor. He was sentenced to eight consecutive terms of life imprisonment for the first-degree sex offenses and an additional 40 years on the indecent liberties convictions.
Asheville attorney Sean Devereux brought the case to the
Duke Law School Wrongful Conviction Clinic
in 2011, about a decade after he was approached by Parker. Devereux told the
that Parker was convicted during the satanic ritual abuse frenzy of the late 1980s and early 1990s. According to the
, Devereux said that not a single one of those satanic ritual sexual abuse accusations has proven to be true. He said that all of the defendants have seen their convictions overturned.
According to the judge’s ruling, advances in child medical examinations and forensic interviewing techniques warranted granting Parker’s petition for relief and that most of the evidence presented at trial was unreliable. The motion also listed ineffective assistance of trial counsel and recantation of one of the children’s testimony, among other vital factors to grant relief.
Devereux said that last year Parker was offered a deal to plead guilty, which would have vacated his convictions and allowed him to leave prison based on time served, but Parker refused to take the deal.
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