LOS ANGELES, Nov. 24 (UPI) — A decide threw out the conviction of a male Monday right after DNA proof cleared him of rape soon after 16 several years in jail.
Luis Vargas, forty six, broke down in the Los Angeles courtroom as the decide declared new DNA evidence “completely and unerringly” exonerates him and details rather to the infamous “teardrop rapist” — on the FBI’s most needed record — who has been linked to much more than three dozen sexual assaults.
The technologies wasn’t accessible to spare Vargas of a few sexual assaults in 1999.
“You can sentence me to all the many years you want,” Vargas instructed a choose when he was convicted, “but as far as I’m involved, that individual that actually did these crimes may well actually be raping a person out there.”
Los Angeles prosecutors not too long ago wrote a letter to the decide that stated their office “no lengthier has confidence in the convictions.” At the time, prosecutors argued there ended up so several similarities in between the a few assaults that they need to have been committed by the very same person.
“This was a shaky eyewitness identification case,” mentioned legal professional Alex Simpson of the California Innocence Task. “This takes place all the time. The No. one issue in wrongful convictions throughout the nation is mistaken eyewitness identification.”
Even so, Vargas is not free of charge but. He will be transferred to federal custody until finally his eco-friendly card is restored. He was a authorized everlasting resident when he was arrested, but his conviction stalled his immigration standing.
Law enforcement believe the Teardrop Rapist, so known as due to the fact of tears tattooed on his face, has raped at least 39 in the Los Angeles area given that 1995. His final assault was in 2013.
Vargas wiped the tears from his eyes after the decide tossed the conviction, looked to his mom and daughter in the courtroom’s audience and mouthed “I enjoy you.”