Meet the Exonerees

Michael Anthony Williams

State: Louisiana
Date of Birth: 1965
Incident Date: 02/21/1981
Age at Arrest: 16
Conviction Date: 1981
Age When Exonerated: 40
Exonerated Date: 03/11/2005
Time Served: 24
Conviction: Aggravated rape
False Confession: No
Implicated by Another Youth: No

Case Details

Michael Anthony Williams was a sixteen-year-old high school sophomore when he was arrested and charged as an adult with the rape of his twenty-two-year-old former math tutor. The victim had mistakenly identified Williams as her attacker. None of the physical evidence could be linked to Williams, and his family testified that he was home asleep during the time of the crime. However, the jury found Williams guilty, and he was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. He spent nearly 24 years in prison before DNA testing excluded him as the perpetrator. He was released from prison on March 11, 2005. The only support or assistance Michael received upon his release was a $10 check from the state. More than two years after Williams's release, Louisiana law changed to make some compensation available to wrongfully convicted persons. Williams has received $150,000 from the state.