A man jailed up for almost three decades after a Colorado woman claimed had a dream he raped her is expected to be freed after someone else confessed to the crime.
The man named Clarence Moses-EL was sentenced to 48 years in prison for raping and assaulting a woman after she came home from a night out drinking in 1988.
He spent 28 years in jail after she claimed it was him because she saw his face in a dream.
When police initially asked who attacked her, she named the man who later confessed.
Twenty-five years later, convicted rapist L.C. Jackson wrote a letter to Moses-EL confessing in December 2013.
“I really don’t know what to say to you, but let’s start by bringing what was done in the dark into the light, I have a lot on my heart.” Jackson wrote, according to court documents.
But Jackson was never arrested and later raped another woman and her daughter in 1992, about a mile and a half away from the first woman’s home.
Even after the confession, it still took another two years before Denver District Judge Kandace Gerdes decided to order a new trial, frustrating Moses-EL’s family.
“The victim named him, he said he did it, why is my uncle still in jail? That’s the million dollar question that no one can answer,” Towanda Moses, 41, told the Daily News.
But the district attorney isn’t buying the confession. “In his statement to the District Attorney’s investigator, he admitted he had lied and made the confession up,” Lynn Kimbrough, a spokeswoman for the district attorney’s office told The News. “He said he had been told by the Innocence Project that he couldn’t be charged in the matter because of the statute of limitations, so he felt he could tell a few lies to help out Moses EL.”
While fighting for Moses-EL’s freedom, several of his family members passed away, including his mother in 2013.
“It’s been a long process for the family, they see the light at the end of the tunnel,” Larry Hales, an activist who worked with Moses-EL’s family, told The News.
For almost 30 years, Moses-EL was behind bars as Denver police ruined DNA evidence that could have proved his innocence.
Police destroyed body swabs and the victim’s clothes, despite a judge’s orders to preserve the evidence for testing.
Moses believes the evidence was destroyed because officers didn’t want to own up to a massive mistake, she said.
“They don’t want to admit that they wrongly put this man in jail for almost 30 years while he lost almost half of his immediate family,” she told The News.
While imprisoned, his two sisters, two brothers, uncle, nephew and mother have all passed away.
If he is released, he will be going home to his wife, two children, father, two brothers and his niece.
Moses-EL’s children were infants when he was put away, meaning he’s only interacted with the kids in the shadow of prison.
During the last three decades, his family never doubted his innocence, and are elated to see him free once again.
“Once he walks out the door, if he can sleep on the street, it’s fine, at least he’s free,” Moses said. “As long as he’s not in jail.”
While he cannot leave Denver until he is acquitted, his family is hoping to have him return to Maryland. The district attorney’s office is still reviewing the judge’s decision, and are planning on meeting the rape victim from 30 years ago again to review the case.
Moses-EL’s bond hearing was expected to take place on Thursday, but was delayed until Tuesday by a court order.
The family still haven’t decided if they plan on suing the city, and are leaving the choice in Moses-EL’s hands.
“They owe him for the years they took away from him,” Hales said. “They should be able to set him up for the rest of his life.”