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Rachael Rollins is seeking to erase a decades-old rape conviction amid ID concerns

Suffolk County prosecutors say the victim sent a letter to the Parole Board saying, “I am no longer absolutely sure that my identification was correct.”

Suffolk District Attorney Rachael Rollins. Christiana Botic for The Boston Globe, File


BOSTON (AP) — Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins is seeking to erase the rape conviction of a man serving a life sentence after the victim said she’s concerned she might have identified the wrong man.

Rollins’ office filed a motion last week asking for a new trial for Tyrone Clark, who was sentenced for life in prison for a 1973 rape. Prosecutors say if the judge grants the motion for a new trial, they will file a nolle prosequi to drop Clark’s rape charge.

Prosecutors say the victim sent a letter to the Parole Board saying, “I am no longer absolutely sure that my identification was correct.” Rollins’ office says potentially exculpatory evidence was also lost or destroyed.

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“Where the only forensic evidence that had the potential to exonerate the Defendant was inadvertently destroyed by the Commonwealth (or its agents), the conviction should be vacated,” the motion from Rollins’ office said.

Clark, who has maintained his innocence, told GBH News in an interview last week that was encouraged by the victim’s statement.

“I pray that it will work out,’’ Clark said. “I was never a person that committed this crime.”

Clark’s attorney, Jeffrey Harris, said they are “extremely appreciative” of the prosecutors’ motion and recognize that the victim has shown “real courage and character” in coming forward with her concerns about a misidentification.

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