KSHB – A Missouri man who spent three decades in prison for rape he didn’t commit is now a free man. 49 year old Robert Nelson was convicted in 1984 of rape, sodomy and robbery. He was identified by the rape victim as one of the men involved in the crime. But after the Midwest Innocence Project got involved, Nelson’s DNA was tested and showed that he was not the perpetrator.
“Mistaken eyewitness identification is one of the leading causes of wrongful convictions in the US,” said Laura O’Sullivan, Legal Director of the Midwest Innocence Project. Now, two other men have been linked to the attack, this time by DNA evidence.
“Today I am also announcing charges against Jerry Haley. Mr. Haley is being charged today. For that same home invasion, gang rape, which occurred on December 16th, 1983,” said Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker.
Haley is in custody in Iowa. The prosecutor has not released the name of the second suspect, but she’s confident that her office has the evidence it needs to finally bring the right people to justice.