Anthony Capozzi Was Not The "Bike Path Rapist"
Incident Year: 1985
Charge: 2 Counts of Rape, Sodomy, Sexual Abuse
Conviction: 2 Counts of Rape, Sodomy, Sexual Abuse
Sentence: 11 - 35 Years
Year of Conviction: 1987
Exoneration Date: 4/2/07
Sentence Served: 20 Years
Real perpetrator found? Yes
Contributing Causes: Eyewitness Misidentification
Compensation? Not Yet
Biological evidence stored for two decades in a hospital drawer was the key to the 2007 exoneration of Anthony Capozzi, a Buffalo, New York, man who spent 20 years in prison for two rapes he didn’t commit.
DNA tests in March 2007 showed that another man, Altemio Sanchez, actually committed the attacks for which Capozzi was convicted. Sanchez was convicted in 2007 of three other murders and is currently serving life in prison.
Capozzi was charged with three similar rapes and went to trial in 1987. The rape victims told police their attacker was about 160 pounds – Capozzi weighed 200 to 220 pounds. None of the victims mentioned a prominent three-inch scar on Capozzi’s face. All three victims identified Capozzi in court as the attacker. He was convicted by a jury of two rapes and acquitted of the third. He was sentenced to 35 years.
Biological evidence was collected from two victims in 1985 and stored in a hospital drawer. When the evidence was tested in 2007 at the request of Capozzi and his attorney, sperm collected during the rape examinations of both victims matched the profile of Sancehz – and proved that Capozzi could not be the rapist.
Capozzi was exonerated and released from state custody in April 2007.
You must give some time to your fellow men. Even if it's a little thing, do something for others - something for which you get no pay but the privilege of doing it.
-Albert Schweitzer (1875 - 1965)
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