On Wednesday, a 35-year-old Detroit man was exonerated after serving 15 years in jail for rape and other crimes he did not commit. Terance Calhoun may have been released from prison days sooner, according to The Detroit News.
Calhoun’s exoneration hearing was abruptly postponed last week after a Detroit cop approached the court to notify her that Calhoun had confessed to the crimes. The officer also handed the paperwork to the judge. Calhoun’s attorneys and law enforcement officials were outraged by the unidentified cop’s behavior.
Calhoun was eventually released after five days in prison. Val Newman, deputy chief of the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office and head of the Conviction Integrity Unit, said in a statement that “a slew of things went wrong that resulted in the wrongful conviction of an innocent man.”
Prosecutors came to the conclusion that Calhoun was not guilty of the accusations because no traces of his DNA were detected at the crime site. Last Friday, they were scheduled to ask for his release when Wayne County Circuit Judge Kelly Ramsey postponed the hearing.
Calhoun was found guilty of raping and kidnapping a 13-year-old girl, as well as attempting to kidnap another 15-year-old girl, and was sentenced to prison in 2007. Both of the alleged incidents took place in October and September of 2006. Calhoun was identified as the offender by the teenage victims in various lineups.
Calhoun, however, should not have been implicated, according to Newman, because DNA tests in 2007 cleared the 35-year-old. Calhoun did not fit the description of the suspect given by the 13-year-old victim, according to Newman. Calhoun was also kept in the dark about the fact that no traces of his DNA were discovered in a condom used to rape the youngest youngster. According to The Detroit News, Newman said the 15-year-old victim told authorities the attacker had braided hair and a jigsaw tattoo, but Calhoun doesn’t have either. Many details in the exonerated man’s case were “overlooked along the road,” according to Newman.
One of Calhoun’s attorneys, David Williams, also informed the news site that a second DNA test performed in 2019 confirmed the 2007 results. Calhoun’s conviction was not tied to the 2009 discovery of over 11,000 unprocessed rape kits at a Detroit Police Department storage, but Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said the discovery allowed officials to review evidence in his case.
“However, once the SAKs were found in 2009, crucial Sexual Assault Kit Task Force processes for examining criminal sexual conduct cases were developed, allowing the CIU to consult with them to evaluate significant evidence in Mr. Calhoun’s case,” Worthy stated. “This evidence proved that he was not the perpetrator of the two crimes.” We’re presently pursuing the offender, who is accused of committing criminal sexual conduct offenses.”
Worthy, on the other hand, remained tight-lipped about the individual suspected of molesting the two girls. Worthy explained, “A succession of fortunate events and a lot of extremely hard effort by quite a few persons led to my decision to exonerate Mr. Calhoun.” “This case’s conclusion was the product of years of hard effort on this and other cases.”