CHICAGO — A Texas man was cleared of rape charges Thursday after serving more than 24 years in jail, court officials said.
Larry Sims, 60, was convicted of rape in October 1986. But DNA evidence — which remained untested until recently — undermined the testimony of his accuser.
“We’ve officially put on the record that DNA has cleared him,” said LaMonica Littles, court coordinator for district Judge Gracie Lewis, who oversaw the case.
“Now we have to get clearance from the state penitentiary for them to say this was the only case they were holding him on and we can get him released from jail.”
The Dallas Morning News reported that Sims wrote the court in 2009 asking about DNA testing of the evidence while out of jail briefly on parole. He was sent back to prison for not meeting a curfew and problems with his leg monitor.
Public defender Michelle Moore told the paper that she would shortly file for an official exoneration, which could open the door to financial compensation.
Some 265 people in the United States who have been exonerated since 1989 as a result of the development of DNA testing of key evidence, according to the Innocence Project.