Man Wrongfully Convicted Of Raping ‘The Lovely Bones’ Author Is Suing New York For $50 Million
Anthony Broadwater, at his lawyers office, CDH Law, Wednesday, December 1, 2021.
Matt Burkhartt for The Washington Post via Getty Images

Anthony Broadwater spent 16 years in prison for a rape he didn’t commit. While his name was finally cleared last November, Broadwater is now suing the state of New York for $50 million for unjust imprisonment and the decades he spent on the sex offender registry stemming from his wrongful conviction.

Broadwater was exonerated on November 22, 2021, more than 20 years after his prison sentence ended in 1999. He had been convicted for the 1981 rape of Alice Sebold, author of “The Lovely Bones,” who detailed the alleged crime in her 1999 memoir, “Lucky,” The Daily Wire reported. Sebold had written that she was a first-year student at Syracuse in May 1981 when she was raped. Sebold, who is white, claimed she saw a black man months later and believed he was her attacker.

“He was smiling as he approached. He recognized me. It was a stroll in the park to him; he had met an acquaintance on the street,” Sebold wrote. “‘Hey, girl,’ he said. ‘Don’t I know you from somewhere?’”

She said she said nothing in return.

“I looked directly at him. Knew his face had been the face over me in the tunnel,” she wrote.

She later went to the police, not knowing her alleged attacker’s name.

“An officer suggested the man in the street must have been Broadwater, who had supposedly been seen in the area. Sebold gave Broadwater the pseudonym Gregory Madison in her book,” the Associated Press reported.

Sebold was unable to identify Broadwater in a police lineup after he was arrested, instead picking the photo of a different man and claiming, “the expression in his eyes told me that if we were alone, if there were no wall between us, he would call me by name and then kill me.”

During the trial, however, Sebold identified Broadwater as her attacker. The other piece of evidence that led to his conviction came from an expert who said microscopic hair analysis determined Broadwater had committed the crime. As the AP noted, that “type of analysis is now considered junk science by the US Department of Justice.”

Broadwater’s attorney, David Hammond, would later tell the Post-Standard of Syracuse: “Sprinkle some junk science onto a faulty identification, and it’s the perfect recipe for a wrongful conviction.”

Sebold has apologized for getting the wrong man convicted.

Broadwater filed his lawsuit on Friday, according to

“He’s also putting the Onondaga County District Attorney’s Office and the city of Syracuse police on notice of a future, second lawsuit, specifically accusing county prosecutors and city police of egregious misconduct,” the outlet reported. “In both lawsuits, Broadwater is getting help from noted trial lawyer Earl Ward, who has a past multi-million dollar settlement in wrongful conviction case and, in 2016, helped win a murder acquittal for North Country soccer coach Oral ‘Nick’ Hillary.”

“Mr. Broadwater did nothing to cause his own conviction,” Broadwater’s lawsuit says. “In fact, he did everything he could to prove his innocence. Mr. Broadwater has suffered the consequences of an unjust conviction and imprisonment, and he is due damages from the State of New York…”

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