DENVER (CBS4)– Clarence Moses-El, the man who spent decades in prison for a rape he didn’t commit, may be close to a settlement with the State of Colorado.
Moses-El filed a civil lawsuit in connection with the case last year. The suit claims his civil rights were violated. He requested nearly $2 million under Colorado’s Exoneration Act.
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 of rape in his second trial in November 2016, he emerged from court with hugs from friends and family.
Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman announced Wednesday that her office filed a stay of proceedings in the lawsuit, which avoids further trauma to the victim and to halt trial preparation. The stay also signifies that Attorney General-Elect Phil Weiser is interested in settling the claim when he take office in January 2019.
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.
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.
Moses-El released a statement about the stay hours after it was announced.
“Attorney General Coffman should take this opportunity to agree that the State of Colorado should fairly compensate Mr. Moses-EL for the over 28 years he spent in prison as an innocent man,” said Moses-EL’s attorney, Gail Johnson, in a statement. “A stay is merely a tactic to further delay justice for Mr. Moses-EL. It is Attorney General Coffman whose unreasonable position in this case has ratcheted up the costs to taxpayers and the pain for all involved.”