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Conviction overturned in 1981 rape of author Alice Sebold

Posted at 3:15 PM, Nov 26, 2021

A 39-year-old rape conviction at the center of a memoir by award-winning author Alice Sebold has been overturned because of what authorities determined were serious flaws with the prosecution.

Anthony Broadwater was cleared by a judge in Onondaga County, New York on Monday of raping Sebold when she was a student at Syracuse University.

Sebold wrote about the rape in her 1999 memoir, "Lucky."

The Post-Standard of Syracuse reports that when the judge officially cleared Broadwater, he shook with emotion, sobbing as his head fell into his hands.

In an interview with the Associated Press, Broadwater said he's been "crying tears of joy and relief the last couple of days."

The 61-year-old added that he was "so elated, the cold can’t even keep me cold.”

Broadwater said he never thought he would see the day that he would be exonerated.

According to the news outlet, Sebold could not identify Broadwater in a police lineup after he was arrested.

The AP reported that the author picked out a different man as her attacker.

Broadwater was tried and convicted nonetheless in 1982 after Sebold identified him as her rapist while on the witness stand, the AP reported.

An expert testified that microscopic hair analysis had tied Broadwater to the crime, but the Department of Justice has since deemed that type of analysis as "junk science," the news outlet reported.