A man who was wrongly convicted of sexual assault over three decades ago has been exonerated.
According to the Innocence Project, Tyrone Day was convicted of sexually assaulting a woman in Dallas, Texas in October 1989. Day was identified as the perpetrator by a white hat that he was wearing. There was no DNA evidence in the case.
"In 1989, Tyrone Day was walking down the street when he was misidentified by a young woman who had just reported to police that she was pulled into a vacant apartment and sexually assaulted," Day's attorney, Vanessa Potkin of the Innocence Project, said.
According to Potkin, the young woman only saw Day from a distance of about 50 ft but believed he was the perpetrator. Though Day maintained his innocence, he accepted a plea deal and was sentenced to 40 years in prison at 19 years old.
He spent nearly 26 years behind bars before being released on parole in 2016. Following his release, Day was forced to register as a sex offender.
On Wednesday (May 24), Day was exonerated following extensive DNA testing, Dallas County District Attorney John Creuzot's office said.
“This exoneration would not have been possible without advancements in forensic science, specifically DNA testing, but I am most proud of the dedication our [Conviction Integrity Unit] and other attorneys involved have had to see this case through until the end,” Creuzot said.
With the recognition of his innocence, Day also received an apology from Creuzot and Dallas criminal court Judge Carter Thompson.
“We are pleased to be able to right this wrong, and while we know Mr. Day can’t get back the years lost, we hope he finds some solace in seeing that justice has finally been done today,” Creuzot said in a statement.