Monday, May 6, 2019

Man freed from prison after 30 years faces new rape charge


A Massachusetts man who spent roughly 30 years in prison for rape before being freed in 2016 is facing new charges in connection with a January sex assault, authorities said.
George Perrot, 51, was arraigned Monday in Salem Superior Court on charges of rape, assault and battery on a police officer, resisting arrest and open and gross lewdness after police said he was found unconscious on top of a partially naked woman who was also unconscious.
Perrot, according to the Boston Globe, became a “symbol for criminal justice reform advocates” after his release in 2016 based on flawed testimony about microscopic hair evidence. He was convicted in 1987 and sentenced to life in prison for raping a 78-year-old woman in her Springfield home two years earlier when he was 17.
Perrot was then granted a new trial in 1990 after a court ruled that prosecutors improperly presented evidence during his trial, The Republican reported. Two years later, he was convicted a second time and was again sentenced to life in prison.
But he was later released on bail in 2016 after the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that testimony during that second trial “exceeded the foundational science” of hair analysis, according to The Republican. The guilty verdict was overturned and a third trial was ordered, but prosecutors decided against it since the victim had died and other factors.
Perrot’s release at the time was lauded by criminal justice reform advocates, including those at The Innocence Project and the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism and Brandeis University, according to The Republican.

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