Brooklyn Man Exonerated After Spending 30 Years In Prison For A Rape He Didn't Commit
After spending 30 years in prison for a crime he didn't commit, Mark Denny walked out of court a free man Wednesday. (Dec. 20)
"Prison was an ugly experience for me. I almost lost myself. Now I’m a free man,” Denny said."This type of justice is needed, I appreciate everything that everyone has done.”
In 1987, Denny was among four men accused of robbing a Brooklyn Burger King and gang raping an 18-year-old woman who was closing the restaurant. Fingerprints for two of the assailants were found at the fast food chain, and a third man eventually pled guilty. However, Denny who wasn't at the Burger King the night of the attack, somehow got framed for the crime.
There was no evidence linking Denny, who was 17 at the time, to the rape. The victim's eyes were covered for a portion of the attack didn't identify Denny the first time, but later picked him out of a lineup. According to the Brooklyn District Attorney's office, the victim also wasn't sure if she was attacked by three or four men.
The Innocence Project later took on Denny's case and brought it to Kings County District Attorney’s Conviction Review Unit, which eventually overturned Denny's wrongful conviction.
Denny's family were all on hand to celebrate the news.
“I am feeling extremely excited, over excited,” his cousin, Shaniece Mickens, 43, said. “We are going to have lunch afterwards, whatever he wants. This is the best Christmas gift ever.”
Denny said he harbors no ill feelings to the victim. “Wish I could have been the hero that day she needed,” he said.