Thursday, January 31, 2008

DNA Identifies 1982 Texas Rapist

Associated Press, January 30, 2008, DALLAS — The dramatic events that culminated Wednesday in prosecutors identifying the real rapist in a 1982 crime that put the wrong man behind bars had the simplest of starts: a basic Internet search.

"I typed in 'aerobics' and 'sex assault'," said Matt Kelley of the Innocence Project, a New York City-based legal center that specializes in overturning wrongful convictions. "And sure enough I got this guy."

That would be Sidney Alvin Goodyear, the man the Dallas County district attorney said was guilty of the crime that sent Steven Charles Phillips to prison for 25 years.

Goodyear won't be prosecuted, though. He died 10 years ago in prison at age 50.

The Innocence Project stumbled across Goodyear's name about 18 months ago after lawyers there decided to take on Phillips' case. Among the crimes for which Phillips was behind bars was a series of bizarre assaults in which the perpetrator went into aerobics classes, forced women to disrobe at gunpoint and then made them hold poses.

Kelley, who was part of the team that researches the cases of new clients, ran across a 20-year-old newspaper story about Goodyear, who was convicted in California for similar crimes in 1982. The story mentioned Goodyear had also lived in Texas.

"How many people could be breaking into aerobics classes and making people pose?" Kelley said. "It just seemed so rare to me."

Continue reading.

No comments: