News 04.06.09

Seventeen Years in Prison, Four Years Free

Today marks the fourth anniversary of Brandon Moon’s exoneration in Texas. After spending 17 years in prison for a rape he didn’t commit, Moon was freed in 2004 and officially exonerated on April 6, 2005.

On the morning of April 27, 1987, an El Paso woman was attacked and sexually assaulted in her home. She contacted police and biological evidence was collected at the hospital. Days after the crime, the victim viewed a photographic array that included Moon's picture. She indicated that Moon looked like the perpetrator but that she couldn't be sure. Days later, the police arrested Moon, and the victim identified him in a live lineup as the perpetrator of the crime. Moon was the only person in both the photographic and live lineup procedures.

At his trial, the victim testified that she was able to remember much of the perpetrator’s appearance, but could not determine his eye color or whether he had a moustache. The prosecution also presented testimony from a serologist who said that Moon was a possible contributor of the semen recovered from clothing at the victim’s home but incorrectly said that the semen could not have come from the victim’s husband or son. Moon testified that he was on his college campus at the time of the attack, and the defense presented evidence that Moon had been excluded as the source of hairs from the crime scene. He was convicted by a jury and sentenced to 75 years in prison.

In the years after his conviction, Moon continued to proclaim his innocence and began filing motions to have the evidence tested. He also contacted the Innocence Project, which accepted his case and obtained DNA testing on his behalf. The results proved Moon's innocence, and also pointed to serious flaws in the serology used in the trial.

After 17 years in prison, he was freed in December 2004 and his exoneration became official four years ago today.



Read more about Brandon Moon’s wrongful conviction here

, visit his website

exoneree.net

, or w

atch a video interview with Moon and two other Texas exonerees

.

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