Man Locked Up On Wrongful Rape, Theft Conviction Heads Residence

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He is residence for the vacations.

Mark Denny has spent the previous three a long time behind bars for a brutal rape and theft he did not commit.

However final week he acquired the best reward of all — his freedom.

The Brooklyn District Lawyer’s Workplace introduced on Wednesday that he had moved to vacate Denny’s conviction and dismiss the indictment after an investigation revealed defective witness identification.

“After a prolonged and intensive investigation into this horrific case, I’ve concluded that the reason for justice requires that we vacate the conviction of Mr. Denny,” Brooklyn District Lawyer Eric Gonzalez mentioned.

“Skilled evaluation of his identification, an examination of the remainder of the proof and a number of accounts from witnesses and co-defendants all point out that he was not current when this horrible crime was dedicated precisely 30 years in the past.”

Denny was the 24th particular person to have his conviction vacated by the DA’s Conviction Evaluate Unit.

Denny was quietly launched from jail final week. Nonetheless, he’s anticipated to seem earlier than Brooklyn Supreme Courtroom Justice Matthew D’Emic Wednesday morning to have his case formally dismissed.

At 47 years previous, he’ll stroll out of the courthouse an harmless man. He had been locked up since he was 17.

“Mr. Denny has been ready for today for a really very long time,” mentioned Nina Morrison, senior workers legal professional for the Innocence Venture, which labored to free Denny since 2009. “We owe an incredible debt of gratitude to District Lawyer Eric Gonzalez and members of his conviction overview unit for recognizing Mr. Denny’s innocence and taking extraordinary steps to proper the wrongs that stored Mr. Denny incarcerated for his total grownup life.”

Denny was accused with three different defendants of a late-night gunpoint theft and rape at a Brooklyn Burger King on Dec. 20, 1987.

The 4 had been accused of forcing their method into the restaurant after closing and holding an 18-year-old feminine worker and her male worker hostage. They ordered the 2 workers to undress, took $three,000 from a secure after which raped and sodomized the feminine employee in a again room.

The sufferer had a blindfold over her eyes throughout a portion of the assault and will have handed out.

Denny grew to become a suspect in 1988 after his arrest two months earlier for gun possession. He had been arrested in a automotive with the three different defendants, who had been wished for robbing a Manhattan Burger King.

Detectives confirmed the sufferer of the rape an image of Denny, however she didn’t establish him. Two days later, she recognized him in a lineup.

Throughout Denny’s trial, the sufferer was obscure in her description of him and his actions.

Dr. Jennifer Dysart, a psychology professor at John Jay Faculty, mentioned the case had issues with witness reliability – together with the sufferer’s restricted alternative to see her attackers, the existence of a gun, the intense stress from the assault and the time lapse between the incident and the identification course of.

“The mixture (of) all these components considerably decreased the probability that an correct identification may have been made by the sufferer on this case,” Dysart mentioned.

The DA famous in his announcement that Denny’s fingerprints had been additionally not discovered on the crime scene. Nonetheless, two of his co-defendants’ fingerprints had been recovered on the Burger King.

One of many defendants, Raphael James, was convicted by a jury and was sentenced to 16 to 48 years in jail. He was paroled in 2015. The opposite had his case dismissed throughout a second trial as a result of the sufferer was emotionally unable to testify.

And one other defendant, Eddie Veira, admitted his involvement and pleaded responsible.

Denny’s co-defendants have all advised the DA’s conviction overview unit that Denny was not concerned.

Denny was convicted in 1989 and sentenced to 19 to 57 years in jail. He has at all times maintained his innocence — even by a number of parole hearings.

Even along with his innocence, Denny nonetheless faces some authorized hurtles. As a baby, he got here to the United State from Guyana as a lawful everlasting resident.

Whereas in jail, he was ordered to be deported resulting from his convictions.

The Cardozo Legislation Faculty’s Immigration Justice Clinic is working to reopen his case and stop his removing from the nation.

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