Man who spent 30 years behind bars freed after rape conviction overturned

George Perrot looks to hug some of his legal team members after a trial judge ordered him to be released. Jonathan Wiggs / The Boston Globe

A Springfield man convicted in 1992 of violently raping an elderly woman has been released after his conviction was overturned last month, according to The Boston Globe.

George Perrot, now 48, had been behind bars since his arrest in 1985. He was initially convicted largely based on FBI hair strand analysis and a confession he gave after a 12-hour interrogation during which his lawyers say he was high on drugs, according to the Globe. The woman, now deceased, never identified Perrot as her attacker, the Globe reported, and in the time since Perrot’s conviction, hair analysis has been discontinued by the bureau. In an April 2015 statement, the FBI found that “the examiners’ testimony in at least 90 percent of trial transcripts the Bureau analyzed as part of its Microscopic Hair Comparison Analysis Review contained erroneous statements.’’

Perrot was represented by Kirsten Mayer from Ropes & Gray, The Innocence Project, and Brandeis University’s Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism, the Globe reported. Prosecutors could decide to retry him.

“In life there are so few times when any of us have a chance to right a major injustice,’’ Mayer told the Globe after Perrot’s release. “We feel privileged that we had the opportunity to help Mr. Perrot.’’

Read the full Globe story here.

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