A 28-year nightmare is over for a Denver man who says he was wrongly convicted after a neighbor who had been raped and beaten told police his face appeared to her in a dream. A judge overturned the 1988 conviction of 60-year-old Clarence Moses-EL on Tuesday and he was freed on $50,000 bond ahead of a possible new trial next year, the AP reports. Moses-EL raised money with the help of fellow inmates for DNA testing of evidence, including body swabs and the woman's clothing, in 1995, only to discover that police had mistakenly destroyed the evidence after what they described as "communications problems" with the DA's office, the Denver Post reports. In Tuesday's ruling, the judge said Moses-EL will probably be acquitted if the case goes to trial again.
The victim, who was attacked after a night of drinking, initially named three other men as potential attackers before giving police Moses-EL's name a day later. The breakthrough in the case came in 2013 when one of the three men, already serving time for other rape convictions, admitted to having consensual sex with the victim and to hitting her, the Post reports. "I waited a long time for this," Moses-EL told reporters after leaving jail arm-in-arm with his wife, saying he was looking forward to eating pizza "with chopped shrimp and steak." He said he was excited to finally meet his 12 grandchildren, one of whom wrapped his arms around his leg and said, "I'm glad you're home," per the Post. (This Virginia man spent almost 30 years in prison because he looked like a rapist.)