George Rodriguez, 50, served 17 years in prison after being wrongfully convicted of rape. He got out in 2004 after a jury overturned the conviction, but it's only now that moves are being made to declare him innocent.
District Attorney Pat Lykos announced today that DNA evidence proves Rodriguez did not commit the rape, and that he is an innocent man. Her office will file paperwork with the court formally declaring it.
"When this scientific inquiry began, there was no legal requirement or mandate for any further work to be done by our office, because the case had been dismissed," Lykos said. "Instead, we acted on the most important obligation of all -- to see that the truth emerges, and that justice is done. Today, we can state that an innocent man has been vindicated."
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As Anthony Graves learned the hard way, it's important to get that "innocent" language.
Lykos said Rodriguez, since his release, "had been rebuffed" in his attempts to get a pardon. In 2009 her office re-examined the case, and found DNA evidence on hairs from the 1987 assault.
The evidence showed that Manuel Beltran, who was also convicted in the incident, was guilty of it. He is currently serving a long sentence.
Test results also pointed to Isidro Yanez as an alternate suspect, but he is deceased.