(Houston, TX) - Harris County District Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced Thursday that prosecutors will request to have Ricardo Rachell freed and his sexual assault conviction reversed, after DNA tests showed he did not commit the crime.
The request will be made jointly with defense lawyer Deborah Summers. They will ask 185th District Judge Susan Brown, who presided over the trial, to allow Rachell to be released on bond as he begins the legal process required to overturn the 2003 jury verdict.
Brown is scheduled to hear the motion Friday (tomorrow, Dec. 12).
Rachell, 51, has served five years of the 40-year sentence assessed by a jury on his conviction of aggravated sexual assault of an eight-year-old boy in 2002.
“As soon as the evidence was found to exonerate him, we have acted as swiftly as possible to see that justice is done in this case,” District Attorney Magidson said.
The DA’s Office will also support any request by Rachell for a full pardon.
Investigators have reopened the 2002 rape investigation. They have identified a suspect in the case, who has not yet been charged.
Magidson pledged to continue the thorough reviews and investigations prompted by convicts’ DNA testing requests. The Office will also continue its agreement with the Innocence Project for DNA testing in cases presented by the Innocence Project.