Anthony Broadwater Wiki
Anthony Broadwater Biography
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A New York judge overturned a 40-year rape conviction at the center of the memoirs of award-winning novelist Alice Sebold due to faulty prosecution.
Anthony Broadwater, who spent 16 years behind bars, trembled with excitement and burst into tears Monday when a judge overturned his conviction for raping Sebold when he was a student at Syracuse University.
Sebold, best known as the author of the 2002 novel “The Lovely Bones,” described her experience of being raped and beaten when she was 18 in her 1999 memoir, “Lucky.”
“I never, never, ever thought the day would come when I would be exonerated,” said Broadwater, 61, after his court appearance in Syracuse on Monday, the Post-Standard of Syracuse reported.
Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick told the judge that the Broadwater prosecution was an injustice.
“I’m not going to sully this procedure by saying, ‘I’m sorry.’ That’s not enough. This should never have happened, ”he said.
The district attorney apologized to Broadwater, who remained on the New York s*x offender registry after completing his prison sentence in 1999, privately before the court hearing.
“When he told me about the damage that had been done to me, I couldn’t help crying,” Broadwater said. “The relief that a district attorney of that magnitude would side with me in this case is so profound that I don’t know what to say.”
In her memoir, Sebold, now 58, described being raped as a freshman in May 1981 while walking home through a park near campus.
When she reported the crime to the police, she was told that a young woman had been killed and dismembered in the same place, so they said she was “lucky”.
Months later, Sebold saw a black man on the street that she was sure was her assailant.
He was smiling as he approached. He recognized me. For him it was a walk in the park; he had met an acquaintance on the street, ”wrote Sebold, who is white. “ Hey girl, ” she said. “Don’t I know you from somewhere?”
She said that she did not respond.
“I looked directly at it. I knew his face had been the face above me in the tunnel, ”Sebold wrote.
A sweep of the area failed to locate a suspect, but an officer suggested it must have been Broadwater, who had allegedly been seen in the area.
Arrested and Charged
But after Broadwater was arrested, Sebold couldn’t identify him in a lineup, choosing a different man as his assailant because “the look in his eyes told me if we were alone, if there wasn’t a wall between us, he would call me by name. and then kill me. ”
Broadwater, who was given the pseudonym Gregory Madison in her novel by Sebold, was ultimately convicted after she identified him on the witness stand and an expert said microscopic analysis of the hair had linked him to the crime.
However, that kind of analysis is now considered junk science by the US Department of Justice.wikipedia
“Sprinkle a little junk science on a flawed ID, and it’s the perfect recipe for a wrongful conviction,” Broadwater attorney David Hammond told the Post-Standard.
Messages sent to Sebold through her publisher and her literary agency seeking comment were not immediately returned.
Broadwater, who has worked as a garbage hauler and handyman, told the Associated Press that the rape conviction damaged his job prospects and his relationships with friends and family.
Even after marrying a woman he believed was innocent of him, Broadwater never wanted children.
“Sometimes we had a big discussion about children, and I told her that I could never allow children to come into this world with a stigma on my back,” she told the news agency, adding that she was still crying tears of joy and relief. for being acquitted.
“I’m so elated that the cold can’t even keep me cold,” said Broadwater, who reportedly passed a polygraph test once for which he paid $ 300.
Sebold’s book “The Lovely Bones,” about the rape and murder of a teenage girl, won the American Booksellers Association’s Book of the Year Award for Adult Fiction in 2003 and was made into a film starring Saoirse Ronan, Susan Sarandon and Stanley Tucci.
“Lucky,” which is also turning into a Netflix movie with Victoria Pedretti as Sebold, led to a re-examination of the Broadwater case, according to her attorneys, the Post-Standard reported.
Tim Mucciante, who runs a production company called Red Badge Films, signed on to help produce the film, but said he became skeptical of Broadwater’s guilt when the first draft of the script came out because he differed so much from the memoir.
“I started poking around and trying to find out what really happened here,” Mucciante told the AP on Tuesday.
He said that after leaving the project, he hired a private investigator, who put him in touch with Hammond and Melissa Swartz of Syracuse-based CDH Law.
They gave the district attorney credit for having a vested interest in the case and understanding that scientific advances have cast doubt on the use of hair analysis, which had been used in the Broadwater trial to link it to the crime.
Merrill Stephen Kaszubinski, a forensic chemist who testified at the trial, admitted there was a “possibility” that the rapist’s hair could have belonged to someone else, the Post-Standard reported.
In 2016, then-FBI Director James Comey also acknowledged “problems” with the way hair analysis was used during trials prior to the early 1990s, according to the newspaper.
Sebold failed to pick the correct man out of this photo lineup when it was presented to her
Sebold wrote that when informed that he had chosen someone other than the man he had previously identified as his attacker, he said the two looked “almost identical.”
She wrote that she realized the defense would be “a panicky white girl saw a black man on the street. He spoke to her familiarly and in her mind she connected this to her rape. She was accusing the wrong man. ”
In light of Broadwater’s exoneration, the fate of the “Lucky” film adaptation was unclear.
The AP left messages seeking comment with Netflix and its new executive producer, Jonathan Bronfman of Toronto-based JoBro Productions.