New Orleans Court Vacates Wrongful Conviction Of Man Accused Of Raping 6-Year-Old Stepdaughter
Since 2002, the victim “repeatedly” asked authorities to “correct the injustice, and rightfully prosecute the actual perpetrator,” officials said.
A New Orleans man recently walked out of prison after he served 29 years behind bars for a sexual assault that prosecutors now believe he never committed.
On May 8, the Civil Rights Division of the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office requested the court vacate the wrongful rape conviction of Patrick Brown, 49, who was accused in 1994 of raping his then-6-year-old stepdaughter.
“During the trial proceedings, the stepdaughter did not testify; instead, adults testified to what they believed she had said,” officials with the DA’s office said.
The stepdaughter, now an adult, denies Brown ever sexually assaulted her, and since 2002 she “repeatedly asked previous administrations to review this case, correct the injustice, and rightfully prosecute the actual perpetrator,” officials said of her “steadfast” account over the past two decades.
According to the DA’s office, there were no investigations into the stepdaughter’s claims until a new district attorney, Jason Williams, took office and the Civil Rights Division formally looked into the case and “evidence corroborated the victim’s account.”
“Listening and engaging victims and survivors of sexual assault is a top priority in this office,” Williams said. “It is incredibly disheartening to know that this woman was dismissed and ignored, no matter how inconvenient her truth, when all she wanted was the real offender to be held responsible.”
The DA noted that wrongful convictions are not only “an injustice for the person who has years of their life stolen, but it is an injustice for the victim and the people of New Orleans because the real perpetrator is left to harm others.”
Civil Rights Division Chief Emily Maw said that while Brown is now free, the person who committed the crime has failed to be fully investigated or prosecuted for nearly 30 years.
“This victim has endured not just the deep trauma of child sexual assault, but the trauma of knowing the wrong man has been imprisoned for almost three decades while the man who raped her walked free,” Maw said. “This is a very sad case, but we are hopeful that this will bring some closure to the victim and that she, and Mr. Brown, can move forward in healing.”
Officials have not released further information about the case, including if they have identified the suspect or plan to file charges.
Brown’s loved ones have started a GoFundMe to raise funds for him so he can rebuild his life.
“You never think something like that is going to happen to you,” Darrell Lee Clark says of how he and Cain Joshua Storey were forced to spend 25 years behind bars.