Local News

Imprisoned 14 years for a rape and robbery he didn’t commit, man is finally freed

(PIX 11) — After more than a decade in prison, a man who was wrongly convicted of rape and robbery has been exonerated.

54-year-old Johnnie O’Neal spent 14 years in prison after being falsely convicted in the alleged attack of a woman in Manhattan in 1984.

The woman claimed that O’Neal pulled out a “007” knife and forced her to the roof of her building. She said he then raped her and stole her jewelry.

O’Neal fit the profile of three other rapes that occurred at the same time and was sentenced to 10 to 20 years in prison.

A reinvestigation of the case showed that the evidence was inconsistent. The victim admitted that she knew O’Neal had lived in the building. During her trial testimony, she said she had never seen O’Neal before.

The reinvestigation also uncovered that another man had committed the rape.

Now that he has been exonerated, O’Neal and his lawyers say they will seek monetary compensation for his wrongful conviction.

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