COLUMBUS, Ohio – A judge in Ohio has released a man who spent 25 years in prison after a new DNA test cleared him of raping a woman.
Sixty-one-year-old Joseph Fears Jr. sobbed in a Columbus court Tuesday. He had been convicted of separate rapes in 1983.
Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O'Brien said DNA testing on evidence found in the prosecutor's evidence room linked one of the rapes to a Michigan prisoner, who has since died.
O'Brien also said underwear collected from the victim of the other rape contained no male DNA.
That conviction stands for now, but O'Brien said Fears should be released based on the time he's served.
Fears was one of 30 inmates profiled in a series last year by The Columbus Dispatch, which examined cases where applications for new DNA testing had been stalled.