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After 29 years, Cleveland man is finally exonerated

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Raymond Towler is free. Wrongfully convicted of rape, Towler has already served 29 years of a life sentence. He consistently maintained his innocence, and in 2004 the Ohio Innocence Project agreed to help him.

Towler, according to a report by Mark Puente of The Plain Dealer, had been identified by witnesses and young victims, two pre-teens who were lured into the woods and then assaulted in 1981.

In 2004, an initial series of DNA tests were performed on the victim’s underwear, but with no conclusive results. In 2008, the evidence was sent to an advanced lab in Texas. The tests identified sperm on the underwear, and excluded Towler as the perpetrator. The lab notified prosecutors on Monday night, and Towler was released Wednesday.

Towler became the 254th nationwide exoneree, and the OIP’s seventh exoneration.

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