Anthony Broadwater Exonerated After Serving 16+ Years For Alleged 1981 Sexual Assault Of Alice Sebol
Following a decades-long campaign maintaining his innocence, 61-year-old Anthony Broadwater has been officially exonerated of the sexual assault charges against him by the New York State Supreme Court. He spent over 16 yeas in prison for the alleged rape of The Lovely Bones author Alice Sebold back in 1981 in a Syracuse park, which was detailed in her memoir, Lucky.
“It’s a long day coming,” Broadwater told the New York Times earlier this week. “On my two hands, I can count the people that allowed me to grace their homes and dinners, and I don’t get past 10. That’s very traumatic to me.”
As Complex reports, Sebold was attending her freshman year at the University of Syracuse when she was assaulted. Approximately five months later, she spotted Broadwater on the streets and followed up with authorities to let them know he reminded her of the person who had attacked her. The alleged victim failed to identify the accused in a police lineup, but later identified him as the assailant in court.
Lucky is said to include claims that Sebold was told by a detective and prosecutor that she had picked the wrong person from the lineup, also adding that “the prosecutor deliberately coached her into rehabilitating her misidentification.” Broadwater went on to past several lie detector tests, but was still found guilty in 1982 based on the author’s account of events and an “unreliable method of microscopic hair analysis.”
A push to clear the 61-year-old’s name came while the memoir’s film adaptation was being planned. Tim Mucciante joined the crew as executive producer, but couldn’t help but notice inconsistencies between Sebold’s book and the script. He trusted his gut and walked away from the project, only to hire a private investigator and legal time who would review the case.
“I started having some doubts, not about the story that Alice told about her assault, which was tragic, but the second part of her book about the trial, which didn’t hang together” Mucciante said in an interview with the Times.
Broadwater’s name will no longer appear on the sex offenders list. “I just hope and pray that maybe Ms. Sebold will come forward and say, ‘Hey, I made a grave mistake,’ and give me an apology,” he said. “I sympathize with her. But she was wrong.” Sebold has yet to comment on the court’s decision.