- Associated Press - Thursday, August 4, 2016

FREEHOLD, N.J. (AP) - A New Jersey judge has thrown out the rape conviction of a man who was cleared last month by DNA evidence after fighting to have the test done to prove his innocence.

Dion Harrell walked out of the Monmouth County Courthouse a free man Wednesday after a judge vacated his conviction.

Prosecutors said last month that the Long Branch man was excluded as a suspect in the case based on blood evidence. Harrell was convicted in 1992 after a woman said he was the man who dragged her into an empty parking lot in 1988 and raped her before stealing her purse.

He says he’s thankful his “name is back.” Harrell insisted he wanted to clear his name and not be required to register as a sex offender.



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