Category: CNN

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DNA testing leads to exoneration of California man imprisoned nearly 3 decades on kidnapping and sexual assault convictions

In January 1995, a man and woman were robbed at gunpoint by two men who had also sexually assaulted the woman. Days after the crime, Gerardo Cabanillas, who was 18 at the time, was arrested because he generally matched the description of one of the suspects. Mr. Cabanillas was coerced by the investigating detective into giving a false confession after 7 hours of interrogation and promises of leniency. Mr. Cabanillas was sentenced to 87 years to life in prison for kidnapping, sexual assault, carjacking, and robbery. After 28 years in prison, DNA was shown not to match Mr. Cabanillas, and instead pointed to other perpetrators. The court used this information to dismiss the case and declare Mr. Cabanillas factually innocent.