Fort Worth, TX

Innocent Man Spent 10 Years in Prison for Child Sex Assault Before Charges Dropped

Larry Lease
A judge dismissed charges against a 49-year-old Alvord man who has been declared innocent years after he was convicted.RK/Unsplash

A Fort Worth man who was sent to prison for sexual assault has been declared innocent and the charges against him were dismissed. Fox 4 reports that Roger Hawkins Jr., was convicted of aggravated sexual assault of a child in 1993. He ended up serving a 10-year prison sentence but claimed his innocence. Hawkins was received at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice on Jan. 21, 1997 and he was discharged on May 27, 2005. The order regarding Hawkins was issued by Judge Ryan Hill.

Fox 4 reports that it was discovered that prosecutors in 1993 withheld evidence that was favorable to Hawkins, including an alibi. According to the Star-Telegram, the CIU determined that Hawkins due process rights were violated. The Conviction Integrity Unit which reviewed the case is part of Tarrant County District Attorney Sharen Wilson's office. CIU Chief Steven Conder told Fox 4:

"The criminal justice system failed Mr. Hawkins," "He was wrongly convicted because there was no thorough investigation of his case or defense of him."

In August, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals ruled that Hawkins had clear evidence that he is actually innocent. The court then vacated his conviction. Then on Tuesday, a district judge dismissed the sexual assault charges against Hawkins. Fox 4 reports that Conder said Hawkins' life was fundamentally altered by mistakes made and now the CIU was able to fix them. Hawkins was around 20 years old when he was convicted and is now 49. Judge Hill said that Hawkins is entitled to relief on all grounds.

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I specialize in crime, entertainment and political stories. I have spent eight years as a freelance writer and journalist.

Dallas, TX

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