Monday, November 23, 2015

Man convicted of 3 rapes cleared after DNA tied to fugitive

Nov. 23, 2015
By Associated Press
LOS ANGELES — A judge on Monday exonerated a man convicted of three rapes after DNA evidence linked the crimes to a serial rapist wanted for assaults dating back two decades.

Superior Court Judge William Ryan ordered the release of Luis Vargas, who has been in prison for 16 years.

DNA tests found that the crimes Vargas was convicted of were actually committed by the so-called Teardrop Rapist, who is known for a tattoo of a teardrop under his eye, said Chris Saunders, a spokesman for the California Innocence Project at California Western School of Law, which took up Vargas’ case in 2012.

Witnesses linked Vargas to the crime because he had a similar tattoo.

The Teardrop Rapist is on the FBI’s most wanted list. He is linked by DNA to 11 crimes and is suspected of 35 in total across the Los Angeles area, the Innocence Project said.

On the day of his sentencing in 1999, Vargas told the court, “I’m concerned (the) individual (who) really did these crimes might really be raping someone out there, might really be killing someone out there.”


tags: innocent

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