Texas Inmate Convicted Of Sexual Assault Freed After DNA Tests

DALLAS (AP) — A Texas man who spent 26 years in prison for rape is now free after new DNA testing.

Charles Chatman had been convicted of aggravated sexual assault in 1981 and sentenced to 99 years in prison. He’s always maintained his innocence, saying the victim lived five houses away from him but that he never knew her .

And after the DNA tests, which lawyers said proved his innocence, a judge recommended that Chatman’s sentence be overturned.

Chatman was released on his own recognizance Thursday, cheered on by several of his siblings.

He is now the 15th inmate from Dallas County to be freed by DNA testing since 2001. The county has freed more inmates after DNA testing than any other county nationwide.

Chatman tells the AP that he’s bitter and angry, but not enouch to want to get revenge. He says his faith kept him from giving up while in prison.