The Crime: A man broke into a woman's Clinton, Mich., home in April 1994, sexually assaulting her several times. Before leaving her home, the man, who wore a nylon stocking over his head, forced the victim to drink soda and wipe her underwear to discard of any DNA evidence he could have left behind. The victim assisted police in creating a composite sketch, and, although she said it was only about 60% accurate, the produced image looked like Wyniemko, then 43, who was being held on a misdemeanor charge. He was convicted of criminal sexual conduct, armed robbery and breaking and entering.
The Exoneration: During the investigation, police found DNA evidence on the victim's sheets and clothing, but it was never analyzed. In 2003, the Michigan State Police Forensic Science Division tested the items found at the scene of the crime, which contained DNA from the victim's husband as well as that from another man who was not Wyniemko. "The first thing I want to do right now is go to church and say some prayers of thanks," Wyniemko said after his conviction was overturned in 2003. He served 8.5 years in prison.
Next JAMES WALLER