He spent half of his life in prison for a rape and robbery he did not commit. But last Friday, at the age of 39, Allen Porter is finally a free man.
Porter’s case stemmed from a robbery and sexual assault at an apartment in southwest Houston on June 18, 1990. Three masked robbers burst into the apartment and sexually assaulted two women inside.
Porter’s nephew, Jimmy D. Hatton, now 40 years old, was convicted in the case. According to the Harris County DA’s office, Porter was at Hatton’s trial and was arrested there when a witness said Porter resembled one of the other gunmen. Porter was found guilty of aggravated sexual assault and sent to prison.
Six years ago, DNA testing did not link Porter to the assault, though the findings reportedly were not enough to prove his innocence. His fingerprints were also not among those found at the scene.
Hatton and an inmate convicted of another crime acknowledged to the district attorney’s office that they had participated in the crime, but said that Porter had no involvement. They led investigators to a different suspect, whose fingerprints matched those found at the scene.
Porter was released on bond Friday, but hopes to have his conviction formally overturned by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. He’ll have to go through a separate process to see restitution from the state. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals vacated Porter’s conviction in December 2010, and the prosecution dismissed the charges. The third assailant was not charged because the statute of limitations on the crimes had expired. Porter was awarded $613,000 in state compensation plus an annuity of $3,000. Read more here.