- Associated Press - Thursday, March 24, 2016

DENVER (AP) - A Denver man who spent more than a quarter-century in prison for a rape he denies committing is getting a bit more freedom and looking for a job as he waits to find out whether he will again be put on trial for the attack.

The judge who overturned Clarence Moses-EL’s conviction granted his request Thursday to end his nightly curfew and remove the ankle monitor he received when he walked free in December. Authorities also only check on him every three weeks, down from once a week when he was first released, defense attorney Gail Johnson told Judge Kandace Gerdes.

“It made my day,” a smiling Moses-EL said after the court hearing.

He was convicted in 1988 after the victim said his face appeared to her in a dream, but Gerdes overturned the verdict after another inmate said he had sex with the woman. Moses-EL long maintained his innocence, and his case inspired legislation requiring preservation of DNA evidence in major felony cases for a defendant’s lifetime after police threw out body swabs and the victim’s clothing.

Moses-EL’s attorneys didn’t allow him to answer other questions Thursday about his life outside prison. In court, Johnson said Moses-EL was living with his wife and three grandchildren and has some promising leads on finding a job.

Moses-EL previously lost several bids to clear his name. He won the right to perform DNA testing on the evidence in the case but Denver police threw it away, saying they didn’t see any notice from prosecutors to hold on to it. In 2008, former Gov. Bill Ritter, the former Denver district attorney, objected to legislation that would have given him a new trial and that received widespread support from lawmakers.

In 2013, another man in prison for rape, L.C. Jackson, wrote to Moses-EL and said he was responsible for the attack that put Moses-EL behind bars. That led to a review, and Gerdes concluded that Moses-EL would likely be acquitted if he was tried again.

The court is preparing to hold a new trial for him in May, but the Denver District Attorney’s Office is awaiting decisions on what will be admitted at trial and reviewing their evidence before deciding whether to move forward, spokeswoman Lynn Kimbrough said.

Moses-EL’s lawyers want the district attorney’s office removed from the case. Gerdes denied their initial request this week but said she would consider new evidence of what they say is false information about the case given out by prosecutors.

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