Denver DA to retry man freed after 28 years in jail

9NEWS at 5 p.m. 11/4/16.

KUSA - The Denver District Attorney has decided to retry the case against a man who was freed in December after spending 28 years in prison for a rape he says he didn’t commit.

Clarence Moses-El was sentenced to 48 years for a 1987 rape and beating in the Five Points neighborhood. The victim told police Moses-El’s identity came to her in a dream.

Moses-El had attempted to contest the sentence before, and raised enough money for DNA testing on the evidence, but Denver Police say they accidentally destroyed it. 

A judge overturned the initial sentence after another inmate – who was convicted of two other sexual assaults – testified that he had consensual sex with the victim the night Moses-El was convicted of sexually assaulting her.

That man, LC Jackson, was one of the three suspects the victim initially named after the incident. 

The judge said Moses-El would likely be acquitted if he was tried again. In March, a judge told Moses-El he no longer had to wear an ankle monitoring bracelet, and authorities have only been checking on him once every three weeks.

In light of Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrissey’s decision to retry Moses-El, supporters have been circulating a petition to get him to drop the charges.

ProgressNow Colorado calls the entire ordeal a “terrible miscarriage of justice.”

The group says the DNA evidence that could have exonerated Moses-El was destroyed and neglected by the DA’s Office.

9News Legal Expert, Scott Robinson says, "because the Denver DA's office no longer has the DNA evidence that was sought to exonerated, at least in theory,  Moses-El and a lot of us assume they wouldn't go forward with a new trial."

Robinson says based on the DA's decision, the DA's office believes there's a lot more to this case than just missing DNA and a lately confessing inmate.

Robinson says this isn't a double jeopardy scenario because Moses-El wasn't acquitted the first time around. 

Copyright 2016 KUSA


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