Man wrongly accused of rape freed after 12 years

HOUSTON – A man who spent a dozen years in prison for a rape he didn’t commit was freed Tuesday, the third inmate to be released because of problems with the Houston Police Department’s crime lab. Wearing dark clothes and carrying a red mesh gym bag and a paper sack containing his belongings, Ronald Taylor greeted his family with warm embraces outside the Harris County Jail.

“It hasn’t really sunk in. I’m just glad to see my family,” he said.

His plans included eating shrimp, a delicacy he missed in prison, and moving to Atlanta to marry Jeannette Brown, the fiancee who has waited for him since the mid-1990s.

But his first stop was City Hall, where Taylor, 47, urged the City Council to prevent other innocent prisoners from rotting behind bars.

“They don’t have the finances, they don’t have nobody to help them,” he said. “I think something needs to be done about that.”

Taylor was convicted of rape in 1995 and sentenced to 60 years in prison. The victim picked him out of a lineup but acknowledged she only caught a glimpse of her attacker’s face.

During his trial, a crime lab analyst testified that no body fluids were found on the victim’s bedsheet.

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