Man cleared of rape in Grand Rapids awarded $817,000

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A Grand Rapids-area man who spent nearly 17 years in prison for a rape he didn't commit has been awarded $817,000.

Quentin Carter's conviction was thrown out in 2015 at the request of the Kent County prosecutor after new evidence emerged. He had already served his prison sentence.

The case involved a then-10-year-old girl who police say was forced to lie about Carter’s involvement.  The man who allegedly forced her to lie, Aurelias Marshall, was convicted in the 1990 murder of Joel Battaglia and sentenced in July 2015 to life in prison. 

It was during the Battaglia cold case investigation that officials talked to the victim, who revealed it was Marshall who sexually assaulted her and not Carter.  In 2015, Carter’s attorney Anne Buckleitner said that the victim went to officials twice while Carter was behind bars and said that she lied about her testimony.

Carter qualified for a state payment under a new Michigan law that compensates the wrongly convicted if there's new evidence. He appeared in court Wednesday, along with former prosecutor Bill Forsyth, and said he plans to use the money to help his mother.

The Associated Press contributed to this report


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