Indiana man freed in 2017 alleges wrongful rape conviction

("Jail Cells" by My Southborough, CC BY-ND 2.0)

MUNCIE, Ind. (AP) — An Indiana man imprisoned nearly a quarter-century for a rape until DNA evidence helped free him alleges in a federal lawsuit that he was wrongfully convicted by authorities who “took advantage” of his severe mental health issues and fabricated evidence.

A judge freed 62-year-old William Barnhouse of Muncie in March 2017 after testing found another man’s semen on the 1992 rape victim’s clothing and body.

Barnhouse was sentenced to 80 years after being found guilty, but mentally ill, of rape and criminal deviate conduct.

The Star Press reports Barnhouse is suing the city of Muncie, police officers and others, alleging in part that a crime lab employee falsely claimed that a hair found on the victim was so similar to Barnhouse’s hair it must be a “match.”

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