Meet the Exonerees

Calvin Ollins

State: Illinois
Date of Birth: 1974
Incident Date: 09/17/1986
Age at Arrest: 14
Conviction Date: 1988
Age When Exonerated: 27
Exonerated Date: 2001
Time Served: 13.5
Conviction: Murder, aggravated criminal sexual assault, armed robbery, aggravated kidnapping
False Confession: Yes
Implicated by Another Youth: Yes

Case Details

In January 1987, three months after twenty-three-year-old Chicago medical student Lori Roscetti was kidnapped, raped, and murdered, pressure was mounting on the police to find the assailant. Calvin Ollins, just fourteen years old at the time, was brought to the police station and intensely interrogated for hours along with his cousin, Larry Ollins, in conjunction with the ongoing investigation. During this interrogation, police falsely claimed that his cousin Larry had implicated him and promised that he could go home if he confessed. Calvin finally broke down and confessed to the attack, implicating his sixteen-year-old cousin Larry and his seventeen-year-old friend Marcellus Bradford at the same time. In 1988, the two Ollins cousins, Bradford, and a fourth party, Omar Saunders, were convicted of the crime and sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. Bradford pled guilty and offered testimony against each of them in exchange for a reduced charge of only aggravated kidnapping and was sentenced to twelve years. Bradford later recanted, accusing the police involved in his investigation of coercing him into falsely confessing and implicating the others. All three were exonerated through DNA testing in 2001 after almost fifteen years of incarceration.