A True Crime Film Led To A Wrongfully Convicted Man’s Exoneration | Eastern North Carolina Now | A true crime film based on Alice Sebold’s 1999 memoir, “Lucky,” that eventually led to the exoneration of Anthony Broadwater, the man the author wrongly accused of raping her in 1981.

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    Publisher's Note: This older, but yet to be published post is finally being presented now as an archivable history of the current events of these days that will become the real history of tomorrow.

Publisher's Note: This post appears here courtesy of the The Daily Wire. The author of this post is Ashe Schow.

    A true crime film based on Alice Sebold's 1999 memoir, "Lucky," that eventually led to the exoneration of Anthony Broadwater, the man the author wrongly accused of raping her in 1981.

    As The Daily Wire previously reported, Sebold had written that she was a first-year student at Syracuse in May 1981 when she was raped. Sebold, who is white, claimed she saw a black man months later and believed he was her attacker.

    "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," Sebold wrote. "'Hey, girl,' he said. 'Don't I know you from somewhere?'"

    She said she said nothing in return.

    "I looked directly at him. Knew his face had been the face over me in the tunnel," she wrote.

    She later went to the police, not knowing her alleged attacker's name.

    "An officer suggested the man in the street must have been Broadwater, who had supposedly been seen in the area. Sebold gave Broadwater the pseudonym Gregory Madison in her book," the Associated Press reported.

    Sebold was unable to identify Broadwater in a police lineup after he was arrested, instead picking the photo of a different man and claiming, "the expression in his eyes told me that if we were alone, if there were no wall between us, he would call me by name and then kill me."

    During the trial, however, Sebold identified Broadwater as her attacker. The other piece of evidence that led to his conviction came from an expert who said microscopic hair analysis determined Broadwater had committed the crime. As the AP noted, that "type of analysis is now considered junk science by the US Department of Justice."

    Broadwater's attorney, David Hammond, would later tell the Post-Standard of Syracuse: "Sprinkle some junk science onto a faulty identification, and it's the perfect recipe for a wrongful conviction."

    And it was a true-crime film that led to a district attorney reopening Broadwater's case, The Blast reported. Tim Mucciante, who was performing research and fact-checking for the film version of "Lucky," quite the production, saying he had found problems in the case. Mucciante, the Blast reported, hired a private detective and a lawyer to look deeper into the case, and what they found led to it being reopened and Broadwater's eventual exoneration after he had already spent more than 15 years in prison for the crime. He was released in 1999.

    The film has been abandoned, but a documentary is reportedly in the works showcasing Broadwater's wrongful conviction.

    On Tuesday, Sebold privately apologized to Broadwater before releasing her apology to the public.

    "It has taken me these past eight days to comprehend how this could have happened," Sebold wrote on Medium. "I will continue to struggle with the role that I unwittingly played within a system that sent an innocent man to jail."

    She added that "as a traumatized 18-year-old rape victim, I chose to put my faith in the American legal system," ultimately blaming that for Broadwater's conviction and ruined life.

    Broadwater teared up as he heard Sebold's apology, and told the Syracuse Post-Standard he believed her apology "comes sincerely from her heart.

    "She knowingly admits what happened. I accept her apology," he told the outlet.

    Sebold built her career on her memoir, and on Tuesday, the book's publisher announced that it would stop distribution in all formats while it is revised.
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