Twenty-five years after he was wrongfully convicted of a string of sexual assaults he didn’t commit, Innocence Project client Steven Phillips is finally set to be cleared. At a hearing tomorrow in Dallas, Innocence Project attorneys will show that DNA test results and other evidence prove that another man committed a string of sexual assaults for which Steven Phillips was convicted in the early 1980s.
DNA tests now prove that a man named Sidney Allen Goodyear committed a 1982 rape for which Phillips was sentenced to 30 years in prison. And other evidence shows that Goodyear committed a string of sexual assaults in 1982 to which Phillips pled guilty to avoid a possible life sentence. A Dallas judge is expected to recommend that the Court of Criminal Appeals fully exonerate Phillips in all of the cases.
“This is one of the worst cases of tunnel vision we’ve ever seen. Police seized on Steven Phillips as a suspect and refused to see mounting evidence that someone else actually committed these crimes,” said Innocence Project Co-Director Barry Scheck. “Sidney Goodyear was a one-man crime spree who could have been stopped much sooner if police had followed the evidence instead of locking onto an innocent man.” After the Dallas crimes for which Phillips was wrongfully convicted, Goodyear committed at least 16 other sexual assaults and related offenses in multiple states.
News coverage of tomorrow’s hearing:
Dallas hearing set for man shown innocent by DNA
(Associated Press, 07/31/08)