The Crime: In December 1983, a white, armed male broke into the Brooklyn, N.Y., home of a police officer and his wife. The man raped the woman and forced her to perform lewd acts on her husband. After the woman identified Fappiano from a photo lineup as the perpetrator, he was tried in 1985 and convicted of rape, sodomy, burglary and sexual abuse and sentenced to 20-50 years in prison.
The Exoneration: Although the Innocence Project began representing Fappiano in 2003, it took two years for the evidence from the case to turn up including a pair of sweatpants worn by the woman during the crime. Multiple rounds of DNA testing on the sweatpants, which contained DNA from both a female and male, matched the victim, but not Fappiano or the victim's husband. Fappiano's convictions were vacated in October 2006 after he served 21 years. "I'm just happy that it's over," he said at the time. The real perpetrator has not yet been found.
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