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A man who served 16 years in prison for the rape of author Alice Sebold is suing New York for $50 million over his wrongful conviction.

Anthony Broadwater was exonerated in November of the 1981 rape after a re-examination of the case found serious flaws in his arrest and trial.

Now 61 years old, Mr Broadwater “always maintained his innocence – from the investigation, through trial and on appeal, while incarcerated, after his release, and up to today,” the lawsuit says.

Ms Sebold, who did not pick him out from a police lineup, but did identify him as her attacker during the trial, said after the exoneration that she was struggling with the role she played “within a system that sent an innocent man to jail”.

The new lawsuit says Mr Broadwater “dutifully sought to overturn his conviction on at least five occasions in the decades following his conviction.”

Ms Sebold, who is white and now 58, says she was raped by a black man while she was at university in New York.

She spotted a black man in the street several months after her rape, who she believed was her attacker and told police.

Officers said that Mr Broadwater had been seen in the area and must have been the man who raped her, but at a lineup of suspects Ms Sebold did not identify him as her attacker.

Despite this, he was still put on trial.

In the courtroom, Ms Sebold said that Mr Broadwater was the perpetrator, and prosecutors presented evidence that microscopic hair analysis had tied him to the crime The technique has since been discredited.

Mr Broadwater was found guilty and spent 16 years in prison.

The rape was the basis for Ms Sebold’s 1999 memoir ‘Lucky,’ which sold more than one million copies.

‘The Lovely Bones’, Ms Sebold’s follow-up novel about the rape and murder of a teenage girl, won the American Booksellers Association Book of the Year Award for Adult Fiction in 2003 and was made into a movie starring Saoirse Ronan, Susan Sarandon and Stanley Tucci. The book sold 10 million copies.

However, a producer working on a Netflix film version of “Lucky” became sceptical about Mr Broadwater’s guilt.

The producer, Timothy Mucciante, hired a private investigator to look into the case, which led to its re-examination and ultimately Mr Broadwater’s exoneration. Plans for the film have since been shelved.

Mr Broadwater cried tears of joy and relief when his conviction was thrown out. He had been released from prison in 1998, but remained on New York’s sex offender registry. He found work as a binman and a handyman.

Publisher Simon & Schuster said it had ceased distribution of “Lucky” in all formats, and was working with Ms Sebold to consider how it might be revised.

After Mr Broadwater was exonerated, Ms Sebold said: “I want to say that I am truly sorry to Anthony Broadwater and I deeply regret what you have been through.

“I am sorry most of all for the fact that the life you could have led was unjustly robbed from you, and I know that no apology can change what happened to you and never will.

“My goal in 1982 was justice – not to perpetuate injustice. And certainly not to forever, and irreparably, alter a young man’s life by the very crime that had altered mine.”

In her statement, Ms Sebold added: “I am grateful that Mr Broadwater has finally been vindicated, but the fact remains that 40 years ago, he became another young Black man brutalised by our flawed legal system. I will forever be sorry for what was done to him.

“I will continue to struggle with the role that I unwittingly played within a system that sent an innocent man to jail. I will also grapple with the fact that my rapist will, in all likelihood, never be known, may have gone on to rape other women, and certainly will never serve the time in prison that Mr Broadwater did.”

The post Man wrongly jailed for 16 years over rape of Alice Sebold sues New York for $50m appeared first on The Telegraph.

This content was originally published here.

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