It’s true. Just because someone is accused of a sex offense, like the attempted rape of a child, as one California man was in 1998, doesn’t make the person guilty. The alleged offense may be serious in nature, and incite highly-charged emotions, but still that doesn’t make the person guilty.
Sometimes, the accused person may even be convicted, as the California man was in 2000 (of lewd conduct and attempted rape), but even that might not mean the person truly did it.
As we’ve said many times before, a sex offense charge could mean “guilty until proven innocent,” as it shouldn’t be in our justice system, at least in the eyes of the public, and juries aren’t always sympathetic to the plight of the person accused of such a crime.
The National Registry of Exonerations website reports that this man, Johnny Williams from California, was convicted in 2000 of lewd conduct and attempted rape and sentenced to 16 years behind bars. On appeal, the convicted was upheld. Everything seemed stacked against him, despite the fact that prosecutorial evidence involving eyewitness testimony and DNA evidence didn’t add up.
But, finally, just this year, the case against him was dismissed and his conviction set aside, based on DNA evidence from 2012 that showed Williams could not have committed the crime.