DNA clears man jailed for more than 20 years in Bronx rape

A man who spent more than 20 years behind bars for a brutal rape in the Bronx was freed after DNA evidence cleared him.

Innocence Project, a nonprofit group, and the Bronx District Attorney?s Office asked a judge Thursday to vacate 44-year-old Alan Newton?s 1985 conviction. Newton was wrongfully sentenced to up to 40 years in prison for raping a woman in an abandoned Bronx building in 1984. Innocence Project argued that testing on the victim?s rape kit failed to link Newton to the crime. Newton says he repeatedly asked for 11 years to have a DNA test performed, but was told the evidence was missing or destroyed. Innocence Project helped track down that evidence, which was collected when DNA testing was unavailable.

Newton, who waited patiently while paperwork was filed for his release, says he is happy to get his life back and to spend time with his family. Newton?s relatives say they never stopped believing he was innocent. Newton plans to earn his business degree, which he started taking classes for in prison.

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