I was wrongly convicted of sexual assault on a minor, spent 3 years in jail and was a registered sex offender. Just recently cleared. AMA
I am 32.
When I was 25 I was accused by the daughter of a family friend, who was 14 at the time, of sexual assault. She was profoundly disturbed (had been in and out of mental health facilities for years) and made up a story in which I came over to her house while her parents were out, got her drunk and high and raped her repeatedly. She told her parents this story and her mother believed her, her father had his doubts.
I was arrested and the trial came down to her word versus mine. My "alibi" was viewed as suspect (I was at home and lived alone at the time). The DA was running for mayor at the time and wanted to appear "tough on crime." I was offered a deal where I would serve no time but I refused, so they went for jail time.
I served 3 years in protective custody. For 2 years I was on the sex offender registry. Last year the girl, now in her 20's, confessed to making up the whole story.
I sued her and her family and received a six-figure settlement. I cannot sue the cops or DA under state law (unless I can prove collusion).
My life was destroyed. I lost my job, my career (I'm a teacher) my fiance, my family abandoned me. I live in another state, changed my name and literally speak to no one I knew in the first 30 years of my life.
** EDIT: It's 11pm CST and I'm going to log off for a couple hours. I will try to reply to every question. Thank you all for your kind words and support and thoughtful suggestions. A few notes **
Yes, I sued the family of the accuser. I have no interested in suing anyone else. It's a horrible process and I'd rather never see another courtroom as long as I live.
Please don't call her a "bitch" or any other derogatory words. I don't have hate in my heart.
Thank you again.
** Edit 2: Hey, it's 1:15 CST and I'm headed to bed. Lots of reposted questions, please check upthread if I didn't get to you. Thank you all for being so welcoming and letting me talk a bit. Today is the 7 year anniversary of my arrest and I spent it talking about it with the good and decent for of Reddit. Thanks everyone. **