Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Suspect charged in sex-assault case that led to wrongful conviction

February 24, 2009

By Staff from KHOU.COM- Houston, TX

The case that led to the wrongful conviction of Ricardo Rachell has finally been solved, according to prosecutors.

Andrew Wayne Hawthorne was charged Monday with the October 2002 sexual assault of an eight year-old boy.

Ricardo Rachell spent six years in prison for the crime after a jury convicted him in 2003. The District Attorney's Office agreed late last year to his release, after tests showed his DNA did not match that of the assailant.

Testing confirmed that Hawthorne's DNA profile is consistent with the man who assaulted the boy.

Hawthorne is charged with the first-degree felony of aggravated sexual assault of a child.

He faces up to life in prison if convicted.

Hawthorne is already serving a 60-year sentence for three similar attacks on young boys.

District Attorney Pat Lykos commended the hard work of the prosecutors, investigators, and police officers who aided in the investigation that lead to the release of Rachell and charge against Hawthorne.

She said a complete report is being prepared with respect to the Rachell conviction.

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