DENVER (CBS4)–Clarence Moses-El was found not guilty of rape in his second trial on Monday afternoon.
He was released from prison in December 2015 after serving 28 years of his sentence for a 1987 conviction in a brutal rape.
After jurors acquitted Moses-El, he emerged from court with hugs from friends and family.
“Enjoy this freedom, you really don’t know how much it means until it’s taken away, especially when it’s for something you didn’t do,” said Moses-El.
He was allowed to leave prison after another inmate wrote a letter to Moses-El saying he had a lot on his mind and then verbally confessed to the crime. But the Denver DA claims that inmate, LC Jackson later recanted that confession.
“I’m glad he came forward,” Moses-El said of LC Jackson. When asked if he thought Jackson raped the woman, he replied, “I can’t say.”
The DA’s office decided to proceed with a retrial ordered by the judge after consulting with the victim.
“We spoke with the victim, she was adamant that we go forward. A jury had found him guilty in the past and we felt it was appropriate to have the jury make the decision this time,” said Denver Chief Deputy District Attorney Bonnie Benedetii.
DNA might have been a crucial factor in the case, but that evidence was mistakenly thrown away by Denver police.
The victim’s identification of Moses-El as her attacker came after she previously gave three other men’s names. Moses-El was named after the woman emerged from a dream.
“The past year, it’s been a roller coaster ride. For real, sometimes I wanted to jump off the roller coaster,” said Moses-El.