DNA leads to Florida man’s release


After more than 19 years in prison, Larry Bostic is a free man today. He says he was coerced into pleading guilty in 1989 to a rape he didn’t commit, and now DNA testing has proven his innocence. Although Bostic only had 13 days remaining in prison, he was released on house arrest Tuesday and his sentence was vacated this morning by a Broward County judge.

Bostic told reporters today that he’s lucky his family stuck with him through the ordeal. He said he is staying with his sister in Fort Lauderdale.

More than a year ago, Bostic filed a handwritten motion asking for DNA testing of the rape kit and the victim's underwear. Such testing was not available in 1988. Bostic's motion also said he had been "coerced" into pleading guilty by the prosecutor and his own court-appointed lawyer. The DNA results came back Aug. 30. The report said Bostic was excluded as a contributor to a semen sample from a vaginal swab.

But that alone would not clear Bostic, his attorney Sandler said earlier. It would be necessary to make sure the victim had not had sex with anyone else in the days prior to the rape, because if she had, it could taint the semen sample, Sandler said.

That assurance came this week when the rape victim told an investigator for the public defender's office there had been no sexual contact just before the rape, Sandler said.

She also told the investigator that she never saw her rapist, Sandler said earlier. She picked Bostic out of a photo line-up because she remembered seeing him, a stranger, in the vicinity of the rape a few days earlier, Sandler said.

Read the full story and watch video of Bostic here

. (South Florida Sun-Sentinel, 09/21/07)

Read about other Florida cases in which DNA proved innocence here


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