Meet the Exonerees

Donte Booker

State: Ohio
Date of Birth:
Incident Date: 11-Nov-86
Age at Arrest: 18
Conviction Date: 1987
Age When Exonerated: 37
Exonerated Date: 09-Jan-05
Time Served: 15
Conviction: Rape, Aggravated Robbery, Kidnapping, Gross Sexual Imposition
False Confession: No
Implicated by Another Youth: No

Case Details

Eighteen-year-old Donte Booker was wrongfully convicted of rape in 1986. After losing fifteen years of his life to our flawed criminal justice system, Donte Booker was exonerated in 2005 due to DNA evidence. On November 11, 1986, a woman entered her car after work when an African American man threatened her with a knife. He gained entry to her car and drove to a nearby loading dock where he raped her. After the crime, the victim noticed that a toy gun had been stolen from her car. Eighteen-year-old Donte Booker, who was involved in another crime involving a toy gun, was identified by the victim as her rapist. The next year, in 1987, Booker was also accused of stealing another woman’s car; he admitted to committing this crime in court, but denied any involvement in the 1986 rape. Nevertheless, a misleading analysis of hair at the crime scene contributed to Booker’s conviction of rape, among other counts. In January of 2005, DNA evidence excluded Booker from the 1986 rape.