Judge ordered new trial but district attorney says they will not prosecute case again
A Louisiana man was freed after 44 years in prison after new evidence was uncovered in his attempted aggravated rape case.
Vincent Simmons was jailed in 1977 for allegedly attacking twin 14-year-old sisters and had been fighting for decades to clear his name.
Judge Bill Bennet ordered a new trial in the case on Monday, but the district attorney who would prosecute it said he would not retry the 69-year-old.
Mr Simmons had attempted at least 16 times to get a new trial, maintaining his innocence and arguing he did not receive a fair trial.
He had tried for three decades to get the new evidence heard, including a medical examination report where a doctor wrote that one of the alleged victims was a virgin, even though she claimed she was raped.
The doctor also stated that when he examined the girls two weeks after the alleged attack, there were no signs of a sexual assault on either.
The alleged victims, who were white, also told the sheriff that they did not know who their attacker was, and allegedly told him that he was Black and that “all Black people look alike”, according to CBS News.
Lawyers for Mr Simmons say that the evidence was never shared with his defence team, which prosecutors have denied.
“The fact that he’s not angry … that’s the thing about Vincent. If I was Vincent, I’d be angry. He’s not angry. He forgives them because he knows vengeance isn’t his,” his lawyer, Justin Bonus, told the news network,
The sisters, who are now 59, maintained to CBS News that they are victims in the case and that Mr Simmons is guilty.