The following was sent to us via the "Tell Us Your Story" form and posted with the users permission.
By Not Guilty:
My voice shakes after 8.5 years of incarceration. I have been humbled through and through; and yet, nothing will stop me from trying to pronounce the truth of my situation.
My story starts as a young boy of 17 determined to provide for the live my soon to be daughter deserved. I chose to join the U.S.A.F. and decided it was time to be the man she deserved.
While in the service, I found out my "ex" was rather promiscuous while I was away. I decided to move back and try at the very lease to be there for my daughter. Regretfully, at that age, the folly that was to become known to me by staying with one woman for the sake of a child was unknown to me.
I soon became disenchanted with the situation and decided to move on with my live. I wound up falling in love with another woman whom blessed me with another beautiful daughter we moved in together. Perfect life at 23, 35k a year, new home, new wife, new baby... Until.
Everything was well until my "ex" found out that my youngest daughter was destined to join us in this world. She became jealous that I wouldn't cheat on the woman I now loved and refused me visitation of my oldest daughter. So, I refused to pay my child support. This led to me filing paperwork at a county court asking for supervised visitation, which, after a court hearing and many questions later was granted.
My "ex" refused to bring our daughter to these visitations 14 of 16 times. So like any concerned father would do, I filed more paper work to prove her willful misconduct.
Funny enough, the day my "ex" was to receive her bench warrant for failure to follow a court order, she accused me of molesting my own baby girl.
After a 4.5 hour interview with the police desperately trying to explain my innocence, I was released. Three months later, I was charged and arrested with the rape (two finger penetration) of my own daughter. I was arrested at work and committed in the county jail.
I was threatened with 20-40 years and offered a 2.5-5 year sentence if I would just admit to something I DID NOT DO. I was kick around by staff and inmates alike and placed in solitary confinement "for my own safety," according to prison officials.
After three months, I was given a trial where they withdrew "rape" charges which were changed to Agg. Ind. Ass. of a minor. At trial, there was no medical documentation, no witnesses, no proof presented by a PA District Attorney. Just the word of two detective that stated on court transcript that they destroyed there original handwritten records after they took 5 hours to compile there notes. (I hope you caught that, 4 hour interview takes 5 hours to compile notes?) There was no video or audio recording of what those detectives allege was a complete and utter confession.
I pled not guilty. I was subsequently convicted and sentenced to 3.5 - 10 years.
Someone how, I though racism was dead. I being a child on the 90's as a white man, took a black lawyer to a white affluent county and wholeheartedly believed the truth would set me free. I WAS WRONG! All he could see was easy money. $30K later, he stipulated to the testimony of every witness I had. The end, guilty.. Over..
8.5 years later, I am still fighting my case and I will do so for the rest of my natural life. The ONLY thing I wanted was for my daughter to know that I would not stop fighting for her. But as they say, no good deed goes unpunished. Thank you for such a website. To those in a similar situation, your not alone. Admitedlyl, after having been in prison, there are some really bad people out there. But I learned my lesson in judging someone by everyone else says...
P.S. - I now go to college for an Assoc. in Paralegal. From prison, I was able to help many others under Alleyne v. US, (U.S. 2013). Any help or suggestions to help others would be appreciated. I am 4 months out of prison after 8.5 years and am determined to help those in a similar situation. Keep hope and faith alive... God bless.