Black man, 66, who has spent 47 years in jail for raping and kidnapping a white woman could be finally be released after victim, now 71, admits she may have MISTAKENLY identified him

 A Suffolk County District Attorney is pleading with a judge to overturn a 1974 rape conviction of a black man who has spent decades in prison, after his victim previously admitted she may have mistakenly identified him. 

Tyrone Clark, now 66, spent 47 years in prison after he was convicted of raping and kidnapping Anne Kane, 23, in June 1973, after he broke into her Back Bay apartment and raped her at knifepoint. 

Clark, who was 18 at the time, was sentenced to life with the possibility of parole.

On Friday, Suffolk District Attorney Rachael Rollins filed a motion supporting Clark's petition for a new trial, citing a 2019 letter Kane, now 71, sent to the Parole Board about Clark's innocence. 

According to the letter, Kane stated: 'I am no longer absolutely sure that my identification was correct.' 

Kane, who is a white woman, said she trusted the courts to provide a fair trial at the time, but now sees the overwhelming flaws within the criminal justice system. 

She argues that because she didn't know any black people at the time, her ability to properly identify her assailant was affected.  

Tyrone Clark, now 66, spent 47 years in prison after he was convicted of raping and kidnapping Anne Kane, 23, in June 1973, after he broke into her Back Bay apartment and raped her at knifepoint

Tyrone Clark, now 66, spent 47 years in prison after he was convicted of raping and kidnapping Anne Kane, 23, in June 1973, after he broke into her Back Bay apartment and raped her at knifepoint

'It is a well proven fact at this point that eyewitness identification is incredibly unreliable, and I had no experience in differentiating black faces,' Kane said. 'I can see how I might have been wrong.' 

During his interview with GBH, Clark said he's appreciative of Kane for speaking out and feels only empathy for her situation.

'I feel sad concerning what happened to her back then,' he said. 'But I feel good that she came forward. It took a lot of years to come forward.'


In an interview with GBH Monday, Rollins said she doesn't 'believe justice was done with respect to the rape charge,' as the case awaits a new hearing in Suffolk County Superior Court.

Rollins said her office's Integrity Review Bureau reviewed Kane's letter and additional details of the case and discovered the state inadvertently destroyed key evidence that could have aided Clark's cause.  

She added that Clark's sentence was 'significant' especially for a crime where the victim managed to survive.

'Life with the possibility of parole for a crime where the person lived is a very significant sentence,' Rollins said. 'Hopefully he'll be able to be released.'    

Clark's attorney, Jeffrey Harris has been fighting to prove his client's innocence since 2017 and believes Clark's sentence was motivated by race.

'He was convicted by an all-white jury based on cross-racial identifications,' Harris told GBH. 'It was 1973, the height of racism in Boston.'    

During trial, Kane recalled the evening of her rape as a 'nightmare,' explaining how her assailant forced his way into her apartment, raped her, beat her and took her through the city on a 6 1/2-hour saga. 

On Friday, Suffolk District Attorney Rachael Rollins (pictured) filed a motion supporting Clark's petition for a new trial, citing a 2019 letter Kane, now 71, sent to the Parole Board about Clark's innocence.

On Friday, Suffolk District Attorney Rachael Rollins (pictured) filed a motion supporting Clark's petition for a new trial, citing a 2019 letter Kane, now 71, sent to the Parole Board about Clark's innocence.

Suffolk District Attorney Rachael Rollins filed a motion supporting Clark's petition for a new trial. If a judge grants a motion to vacate Clark's rape conviction, the rape charges will be dropped and Clark will be set free

Suffolk District Attorney Rachael Rollins filed a motion supporting Clark's petition for a new trial. If a judge grants a motion to vacate Clark's rape conviction, the rape charges will be dropped and Clark will be set free

Kane said her assailant took her to a restaurant, where they ate a meal and spoke to some of his friends. She managed to escape after running into a Roxbury firehouse and begging a fireman for help. 

Court records indicate that Kane's assailant followed her into the firehouse, but fled after a fireman said he would call in a police officer in the building.

Four fireman and a server at the restaurant all identified Clark during the trial.    

According to Sam Gross, founder and senior editor of the National Registry of Exonerations, it's not uncommon for multiple witnesses to identify the wrong person.   

Gross said in two thirds of rape cases, exonerees were falsely convicted primarily because of mistaken eyewitness identifications - half of which were black men who were convicted of assaulting white women.     

If a judge grants a motion to vacate Clark's rape conviction, the rape charges will be dropped and Clark will be set free. 

Initiated in 2019, the Integrity Review Bureau was tasked with reviewing more than 100 cases and took action in 10 cases in addition to Clark's, Rollins said.

'We are not afraid in this administration to look back and see if we got it right or wrong,' she said. 

According to the registry, more than 2,851 people across the United States have been exonerated of their crimes since 1989. 

Tyrone Clark, now 66, has remained at North Central Correctional Institute in Gardner, after he was convicted of raping and kidnapping Anne Kane, 23, in June 1973

Tyrone Clark, now 66, has remained at North Central Correctional Institute in Gardner, after he was convicted of raping and kidnapping Anne Kane, 23, in June 1973

Black man, 66, who has spent 47 years in jail for raping and kidnapping a white woman could be finally be released after victim, now 71, admits she may have MISTAKENLY identified him Black man, 66, who has spent 47 years in jail for raping and kidnapping a white woman could be finally be released after victim, now 71, admits she may have MISTAKENLY identified him Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 11:02 Rating: 5

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