TINA FINEBERG / ASSOCIATE PRESS
Almost four decades after identifying the wrong person as the man who raped her in college, author Alice Sebold apologized and her editors said they would stop releasing her 1999 memoir in which she wrote about it.
Anthony Broadwater, who spent more than 16 years in prison for the crime and who has repeatedly proclaimed his innocence, was exonerated last week.
“First of all, I want to say that I am very sorry for Anthony Broadwater and I deeply regret what you went through,” begins a statement Sebold posted on Medium on Tuesday.
“I am especially sorry that the life you could have led was unfairly stolen from you, and I know that no excuse can change what happened to you and never will. wish, I especially hope that you and your family will have time and privacy to heal. “
In 1981, Sebold was in his first year at Syracuse University when she was raped and beaten. Five months later, she spotted the nearby Broadwater campus and called the police. She identified him in court during his trial in 1982.
According to Syracuse.com, which first reported Broadwater’s exemption, “The only two pieces of evidence against Broadwater were the identification of Sebold at trial – after choosing the wrong man from a previous police team – and the microscopic analysis of hair, now considered junk science. ”
Sebold, who would write the immensely popular book The beautiful bones, wrote about his experience in his memoir, Fortunate. There were plans to shoot Fortunate in a movie, but according to a report by Variety, the funding dried up months ago.
On Tuesday, Scribner and Simon & Schuster said they would “cease distribution of all formats of Alice Sebold’s 1999 memoir. Fortunate while Sebold and Scribner together think about how the work might be revised. “
In his apology, Sebold acknowledged the role race played in Broadwater’s wrongful conviction.
“Today, American society is beginning to recognize and address the systemic problems in our justice system that too often mean that justice for some comes at the expense of others. Unfortunately, this was not a debate, or a conversation. , or even a whisper when I reported my rape in 1981. “
Broadwater told Syracuse.com that his conviction limited his employment prospects to manual labor and odd jobs. Sebold wrote in his statement that Broadwater not only served 16 years behind bars, but called the lingering effects “almost a life sentence”.