Anthony Broadwater Exonerated, Victoria Pedretti Exits Lucky
New York State Supreme Court Justice Gordon Cuffy exonerated Anthony Broadwater on Nov. 22 after he was wrongfully accused of the 1981 rape of The Lovely Bones author.
Pedretti was set to star in Lucky, based on Sebold’s 1999 memoir of the same name, which details the author’s rape while she was a freshman at Syracuse University. Pedretti left the production following the exoneration, according to Variety.
Executive producer Timothy Mucciante had previously left the production in June after he began to question the story, as he found “discrepancies between the memoir and the script,” according to the New York Times.
“I started having some doubts, not about the story that Alice told about her assault, which was tragic, but the second part of her book about the trial, which didn’t hang together,” Mucciante told the Times.
He even hired a private investigator, Dan Myers, who found evidence pointing to Broadwater’s innocence and suggested Mucciante bring it to a lawyer, recommending J. David Hammond.
Broadwater, who — according to the Times — had been saving up to hire a lawyer and prove his innocence, later hired Hammond and Melissa K. Swartz as his defense attorneys.
Sebold detailed the rape in the book’s prologue, writing that she was raped in a tunnel in Thornden Park near Syracuse University and that “a girl had been murdered and dismembered,” in the same location.
“I was told this story by the police. In comparison, they said, I was lucky,” she wrote.
Months after the incident, Sebold told authorities that she saw a man that reminded her of her rapist on the street, yet later failed to identify the suspect of her rape in a police lineup.
While she could not identify her rapist, Broadwater was eventually convicted following a microscopic hair analysis that was deemed faulty 35 years later.
Broadwater served 16 years in prison for the rape, getting released in 1999, and was relieved of the charge entirely after the prosecutor sided with two defense lawyers who argued that there were major flaws in the initial rape trial.
“I won’t sully these proceedings by saying I’m sorry. That doesn’t cut it. This should never have happened,” District Attorney William Fitzpatrick said in the courtroom, according to The Syracuse Post-Standard.
Have a tip we should know? email@example.com