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Man exonerated in '97 Detroit rape case

Texas jail guard says thanks to inmates who saved his life
Posted at 5:05 PM, Sep 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-01 17:05:36-04

DETROIT (AP) — A Detroit man convicted of sexual assault 20 years after the crime has been exonerated.

A judge on Friday granted a new trial to James Clay, but the Wayne County prosecutor dropped the case. Clay says it's an "amazing feeling."

RELATED: Victim says man sent to prison is innocent of rape, realizes DNA snared old boyfriend into cold case

In 2017, CIay was convicted of raping a teenager back in 1997 and sentenced to 25 years in prison. He was charged after his DNA was compared to evidence that had languished in storage.

But it turns out that Clay had an intimate relationship with her when he was 16 and she was 15. It was around the same time that she said she was assaulted by a man with a gun. Now 37 years old, she says she didn't recognize Clay at trial as her old boyfriend.

Reporting by the Detroit Free Press raised doubts about the case.