RALEIGH, N.C. – Two women in North Carolina are recanting their testimony in a child molestation case that had imprisoned a man for 20 years, with one saying her grandmother made them accuse the wrong man.
The accusers are cousins who were four and six when they accused Sylvester Smith (search) of sexual abuse. Smith was convicted and given two consecutive life sentences in 1984.
One of the women says the real abuser was a cousin who's now in prison. A prosecutor says the woman now says their grandmother pressured them to accuse Smith rather than the cousin, in order to protect him.
North Carolina Governor Mike Easley (search) prosecuted the case when he was a district attorney. Easley's spokeswoman says the governor doesn't have enough information to comment.