Man who served nearly 29 years on rape charge is out on bond, waiting for possible new trial


Clarence Moses-EL walks with his family after being released on bail, Dec. 22, 2015. (Photo: FOX31 Denver)

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DENVER -- A man who sat in prison for nearly 29 years for a crime he says he did not commit, has been released as he waits for a possible new trial.

60-year-old Clarence Moses-EL walked outside in Denver with his family and legal team on Tuesday evening.

Moses-EL had his conviction overturned by a Denver District Court judge.

On Dec. 14, Judge Kandace Gerdes vacated his sentence and ordered a new trial.

He was released on $50,000 bond.

Moses-EL said he was without words after stepping out into fresh air on Tuesday.

He told reporters that he was able to hug his grandchildren for the first time.

Moses-EL also had a lighter moment as he described the special pizza order he had for his first night out of prison in nearly three decades.

Clarence Moses-EL
Clarence Moses-EL

Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrissey must decide whether to try him again -- nearly 30 years later -- for a crime many say was built on flimsy evidence.

They are facts in a court order that show another man, LC Jackson, confessed to the crime.

Jackson wrote to Moses-EL in April 2012 saying: "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. I don't know who[sic] working on this. But have them come up and see me. It's time. I'll be waiting."

The victim named Jackson as one of three suspects the day it happened, but police never questioned them.

A day-and-a-half later, she told police she had a dream identifying Moses-EL as the suspect.

DNA evidence could have cleared him years later, with the help of Barry Scheck and the Innocence Project.

"If you go back 20 years, there was a box in Denver Police evidence that said ‘do not destroy.’ They destroyed it anyway. Moses should have been out 20 years ago," Aleem said.

His niece said the nightmare should have ended when their only evidence was a dream.

"When they sentenced Clarence Moses to a 48-year sentence because of a dream, something should have been done then, not 29 years later," she said.

The Denver District Attorney is on a 30-day deadline to decide whether to re-try Moses-EL or let him go.

His office has to review the judge’s order and speak to the victim.

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