Wilmington man wrongly convicted of rape walks out of prison 40 years later

Cherri Gregg
December 18, 2018 - 2:19 pm

Cherri Gregg/KYW Newsradio


PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — A Wilmington man who spent nearly 40 years behind bars for a rape he says he did not commit is now free. The state of Delaware dismissed the indictment after evidence highlighted major flaws in his case. 

"Patience is a very beautiful thing," 57-year-old Elmer Daniels said Tuesday.

It took years of faith and patience, and a chance meeting with his attorney, before Daniels could walk out of Delaware prison a free man. 

RELATED: Flashpoint Extra: Man set free after nearly 40 years in jail for rape he didn't commit

"The justice system is broken. It's broken," he said.

Daniels, who is African-American, was convicted in 1980 of the rape of a 15-year-old white girl. He was identified as the culprit by her white male companion. A recent investigation identified flawed FBI expert testimony regarding hair fibers and new evidence indicating the key witness testimony was false. It convinced a Delaware court to set him free on Dec. 13.

"I'm not going to talk about hate, because it doesn't change anything. But what I will talk about is victims. There are a lot of victims in this issue," Daniels' attorney Emeke Igwe said. 

Igwe says he plans to get justice and compensation for his client. 

"They took something they can never give me back," Daniels said.

Daniels will work with Igwe's new foundation Absolute Justice for next steps.

Cherri Gregg/KYW Newsradio