Meet the Exonerees

Alejandro Dominguez

State: Illinois
Date of Birth: 1974
Incident Date: 1989
Age at Arrest: 16
Conviction Date: 1990
Age When Exonerated: 30
Exonerated Date: 04/26/2002
Time Served: 4
Conviction: Home invasion and rape
False Confession: No
Implicated by Another Youth: No

Case Details

At age sixteen, Alejandro Dominguez was convicted of home invasion and rape based on the victim's misidentification of him as the perpetrator. The victim identified Dominguez during a “show-up” identification: a detective pointed to Dominguez and asked the victim if Dominguez was the perpetrator. The identification procedure was suspect because it was suggestive; the lead detective in the case told the victim before she made the identification, “Watch the one sitting on the chair. Tell me if that is the one.” The victim told the police that her attacker spoke to her in English, wore a diamond earring, and had a tattoo, and though Dominguez spoke only Spanish and had neither a piercing nor a tattoo, the identification held up in court. Dominguez was exonerated by DNA evidence a full twelve years later. Meanwhile, Alejandro served four years in prison and was forced to publicly register as a sex offender upon his release.