Cleared after 30 years in Louisville, KY: After 11 years in prison before being paroled in 1994 for being convicted of rape and other charges in 1982, Michael VonAllmen’s record is now clear. On July 15, 2010, a judge finally ruled to dismiss all charges with prejudice, which means the charges can never be brought back.
“I think this is a vindication for Mr. VonAllmen,” said Ted Shouse, VonAllmen’s attorney. “I hope (the Commonwealth’s) actions has indicated that they realize that Mr. VonAllmen is in fact innocent.”
Shouse, along with the Kentucky Innocence Project, worked to clear VonAllmen’s name saying they had new evidence that could prove he wasn’t the man who abducted and raped a woman outside of a South End bar in October 1981. Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Kristi Gray says that with the additional theory of another possible perpetrator, they could have lost the case had it gone back to trial.
VonAllmen was stunned when he heard the judge’s ruling. “Total shock at the moment. I was expecting to come in and get a trial date, wasn’t prepared for this to occur, but I’m thankful,” VonAllmen said.
Although thankful for being cleared of all charges, VonAllmen still doesn’t believe justice has been served. “You have a victim that’s enduring a very painful experience all over again. You have someone who served 11 years for a crime a dead person has committed. Can we get that 11 years on this guy? Justice can’t be served here,” said VonAllmen.
Although the nightmare may be over for VonAllmen, it isn’t for the victim of the crime. “She believes that the jury verdict was the correct one,” says Gray, “and she certainly thought that this was something she wasn’t going to have to deal with and think about day to day after 30 years, so it’s been a very difficult process for her.”
VonAllmen says he plans to keep on making a living as a plumber and get on with the rest of his life, as best he can.