Friday, September 21, 2007

DNA sets man free in rape, conviction tossed

Sep 21, 4:53 PM EDT

DNA sets man free in rape, conviction tossed

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) -- A 51-year-old man who spent more than 19 years in prison was officially freed Friday after recent DNA tests did not match evidence from a rape crime scene.

A Broward judge on Friday vacated Larry Bostic's 1989 conviction and set him free.

"He was exonerated by the court's order," Bostic's public defender, Sarah Sandler, said Friday.

He was released from prison on Tuesday after authorities found that DNA collected from the rape did not match Bostic, but he remained on electronic monitoring and under house arrest at a relative's home until Friday, Sandler said.

Authorities had to first determine whether the victim had sexual intercourse with anyone else within 72 hours of the rape that may have tainted the DNA sample, she said.

"She indicated she had not," Sandler said. "So it definitely was not Mr. Bostic who was the perpetrator."

"I'm lucky. My family stuck with me through this ordeal," Bostic told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

Bostic had several felony convictions before the rape, including theft and drug possession, and had spent several years on and off incarcerated, Sandler said.

He was sentenced to eight years for the rape conviction and had served about four years before being released on probation. Bostic then later violated his probation on the rape conviction with an arrest for battery on a law enforcement officer. He pleaded guilty in 1993 and was sentenced to 17 years in prison.

Prosecutors did not immediately return a telephone message on Friday.


Information from: South Florida Sun-Sentinel,

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