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Michigan man cleared of 1988 child sexual assault after over 30 years in prison


  • Louis Wright, 65, was freed from prison Thursday after being cleared of wrongdoing in a 1988 sexual assault case.
  • DNA sampled from the actual perpetrator, who reportedly broke into an Albion, Michigan, home in 1988 and molested an 11-year-old girl, exonerated Wright.
  • “There is no justice without truth. It applies to everyone,” Calhoun County Prosecutor David Gilbert said, announcing the case’s reopening.

A man accused of breaking into a home and sexually assaulting an 11-year-old girl in southwestern Michigan is out of prison after 35 years after authorities agreed that he was wrongly convicted.

Louis Wright’s convictions from 1988 were set aside by a judge Thursday at the request of the Calhoun County prosecutor and the attorney general’s office.

“New DNA testing excluded Mr. Wright as the perpetrator,” the attorney general’s office said.

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The Cooley Law School Innocence Project, which represents Wright, said a false confession and a no-contest plea caused his decades of incarceration.

In 1988, police investigating the assault of a girl in Albion, 100 miles west of Detroit, settled on Wright as the suspect after an off-duty officer said he had been seen in the neighborhood.

Police said Wright confessed, though the interview was not recorded and he did not sign a confession, according to the Innocence Project.

Michigan Fox News graphic

A 65-year-old Michigander is being released from prison 35 years after his erroneous sexual assault conviction.

“The victim was never asked to identify anyone in or outside of court,” the Innocence Project said.

Wright, now 65, eventually pleaded no-contest to the charges and was sentenced to 25 years to 50 years in prison. He subsequently sought to withdraw his plea, but the request was denied.

An email seeking additional comment from the Innocence Project wasn’t immediately answered Friday. It’s unclear why Wright decided to plead no-contest, which is treated as a guilty plea for sentencing purposes.

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“Mr. Wright has always maintained his innocence,” the Innocence Project said in a written statement.

Prosecutor David Gilbert said the case is being reopened.

“There is no justice without truth. It applies to everyone,” he said.

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Wright could be eligible for $1.75 million under a state law that grants $50,000 for each year spent in prison for a conviction overturned based on new evidence.



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