A man who completed a 16-year sentence is exonerated after he was misidentified as the rapist detailed in author Alice Sebold’s memoir, “Lucky.”Anthony J. Broadwater, aged 61, has maintained his innocence and can now extinguish the stigma from a 1981 Syracuse, New York rape.
“I’ve been crying tears of joy and relief the last couple of days,”Broadwater said that the Associated Press. “I’m so elated, the cold can’t even keep me cold.”
Broadwater was all of 20 years old at the time of his arrest, and just returned home to Syracuse following a brief stint in the Marine Corps, according to the New York Times. Although he was released in 1998, his conviction and subsequent status of sex offender continued to follow him throughout the rest.
“On my two hands, I can count the people that allowed me to grace their homes and dinners, and I don’t get past 10,”He told the New York Times. “That’s very traumatic to me.”
He was convicted for rape in May 1981. Sebold is best known for her fiction novel. “The Lovely Bones,”In her memoir, she wrote that she was a freshman in college at the time it happened.
She said that she reported the attack immediately to campus security, and then she went to the police. They then took samples of the rape kits and asked Sebold to draw a sketch of her attacker. Sebold recalled the sketch didn’t resemble Broadwater.
Sebold claimed that she believed she saw her attacker in the street months later and reported the incident the police. “He was smiling as he approached. He recognized me. It was a stroll in the park to him; he had met an acquaintance on the street,”She wrote. “‘Hey, girl,’ he said. ‘Don’t I know you from somewhere?’”
She acknowledged in the book that the scenario looked like: “a panicked white girl saw a black man on the street. He spoke familiarly to her and in her mind she connected this to her rape.”
Broadwater, who was given the pseudonym Gregory Madison, was ultimately convicted based upon her identification of him as a witness and microscopic hair analysis. This method was later deemed unreliable by the Department of Justice, according to the Associated Press.
“I just hope and pray that maybe Ms. Sebold will come forward and say, ‘Hey, I made a grave mistake,’ and give me an apology,”Broadwater claimed, according to The New York Times. “I sympathize with her, but she was wrong.”
Sebold’s memoir “Lucky”It was being filmed and made into a biopic. When Tim Mucciante read the first draft, he noticed some issues.
Mucciante ultimately dropped out of the film, but hired a private investigator and attorneys to look into Broadwater’s case.