Indiana Man Jailed For 25 Years For Rape He Didn’t Commit Is Cleared Thanks To New DNA Technology

Darryl Pinkins was accused of raping an Indiana woman in 1991 after she identified him as the attacker who dragged her to a vehicle and violated her for hours. Pinkins was convicted of rape and would spend the next 25 years behind bars despite maintaining his innocence.

Finally, in 2007, the Indiana Innocence Project brought new DNA technology called TrueAllele to his law team’s attention. Knowing he was innocent, Pinkins and a friend also convicted in relation to the rape, Roosevelt Glenn, both agreed to the DNA test in a bid to clear their names. The test found conclusively that neither Pinkins nor Glenn were at the scene of the crime. The evidence was so sound that prosecutors concluded there was no need for a re-trial, as Pinkins was obviously innocent.

ABC 7 reports that 63-year-old Darryl Pinkins was set free yesterday after spending 25 years behind bars for a crime he didn’t commit. Pinkins has maintained his innocence for the last 25 years despite prosecution at the time of the conviction, noting they were “100 percent certain” they had the right man. The victim of the rape said during the trial that she was certain Pinkins was her attacker and maintains, despite new DNA evidence, that she identified the right man.

However, the victim’s eyewitness identification proved indisputably wrong, as teams from the Indiana Innocence Projects and Indiana University Law School professors performed an intricate DNA test that, for the first time, was able to dissect DNA mixtures from the case. The test, called TrueAllele, is new technology that dissects DNA to provide a clearer DNA picture for missing persons and violent crime cases. When Pinkins’ lawyers explained DNA testing and exactly what DNA is, the convicted rapist says he immediately agreed to the testing because he knew he was innocent and not at the crime scene.

“Once they explained to us what DNA was, we [Pinkins and Glenn] told them to bring the test on because we know where we were.”

While in prison for a crime he didn’t commit Darryl Pinkins lost his brother. Today he finally consoled his nephew

— Judy Rybak (@JudyRybak) April 25, 2016

His innocence was proven beyond doubt when the DNA tests revealed that Pinkins DNA was not at the crime scene and neither was the DNA of friend Roosevelt Glenn. Therefore, upon reviewing the DNA evidence, prosecutors said that they could not in good conscience keep Pinkins behind bars. They exonerated the man without a trial, and he was finally returned home to his family, including a 24-year-old son who was born while Pinkins was in prison.

With the DNA evidence presented, Lake County prosecutor Bernard Carter went so far as to say it would be an “injustice” to “even attempt” to try Mr. Pinkins in court, as the evidence was so convincing.

“When you look at the evidence that stands now, it would be an injustice for us to even attempt to try Mr. Pinkins. We would not convict him.”

While Pinkins spent 25 years behind bars for a crime he didn’t commit, leaving the prison with missing teeth, thyroid problems, and diabetes, he says he is now happy he can spend time with his family, including the 24-year-old son he has never had a chance to have a relationship with in prison. Pinkins is also speaking out on behalf of others he says are also wrongly convicted, noting that not everyone has such an amazing team on their side.

“It feels like this day was – was meant to be. And I know it was. There was a crack in the system. It does exist, and I’m not the only one within this situation that’s going through this. It’s people that are not fortunate enough to get the team that I have behind me.”

Despite the overwhelming DNA evidence proving Pinkins was not at the scene of the crime, the rape victim is not backing down from her statement that Pinkins was her attacker. She claims that she knows he is the man who raped her. Meanwhile, the Lake County prosecutor says they are reopening the case and trying to find the men involved.

[Image via Shutterstock]