Anthony Broadwater, the Black man accused of raping The Lovely Bones author Alice Sebold was exonerated last week after spending more than a decade behind bars.
"I never, ever, ever thought I would see the day that I would be exonerated," the 61-year-old said after the court hearing Monday (November 22), per The Syracuse Post-Standard.
"I did everything I could do to always show people that I'm never that type of guy. I never could be that type of guy," he added."
Broadwater's conviction was overturned by New York Supreme Court Justice Gordon Cuffy after the prosecutor sided with two defense lawyers representing Broadwater, who highlighted key flaws of the 1982 trial.
"I won't sully these proceedings by saying I'm sorry," District Attorney William Fitzpatrick said in court. "That doesn't cut it. This should never have happened."
In her widely celebrated 1999 memoir, Lucky, Alice Sebold wrote about the sexual assault she endured in a tunnel in Thornden Park near Syracuse University when she was a first-year student there.
Months after the attack, Sebold encountered a man who reminded her of her attacker on a city street and reported it to authorities. She later wrote about how she misidentified the police's suspect in a lineup, but authorities at the time took her story and now-debunked hair analysis science to bring charges against Broadwater, who was 20 years old at the time.
Sebold went on to testify at his trial.
Broadwater has consistently maintained his innocence and told The New York Times he hopes to receive an apology from Sebold.
"I just hope and pray that maybe Ms. Sebold will come forward and say, 'Hey, I made a grave mistake,' and give me an apology," he said. "I sympathize with her. But she was wrong."
In 2019, news of a movie adaptation for Lucky was announced. However, just this year, executive producer Timothy Mucciante shared with The Times he noticed discrepancies in the memoir and the would-be script –– specifically with details surrounding the trial which prompted him to leave the production and hire a private investigator to examine the evidence.
That investigator brought the findings to a lawyer who went on to defend Broadwater and ultimately get him exonerated.
Days after Broadwater's exoneration, Variety reported production on Lucky was stopped.
Reading about Black trauma can have an impact on your mental health. If you or someone you know need immediate mental health help, text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 to be connected to a certified crisis counselor. These additional resources are also available:
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255
The National Alliance on Mental Illness 1-800-950-6264
The Association of Black Psychologists 1-301-449-3082
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America 1-240-485-1001
RAINN's National Sexual Assault Hotline 1-800-656-4673
For more mental health resources, click HERE.