In September, 2006, a Manhattan, New York woman accused William McCaffrey of raping her on the way to a party. She had bruises and bite marks on her shoulder, but there was no other physical evidence of rape.
Based on her testimony at trial, a jury convicted McCaffrey of rape, kidnapping, felony assault, unlawful imprisonment, and criminal possession of a weapon in October 2006. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
In 2008, DNA testing showed that saliva from the bite marks on the supposed victim came from a female. Nonetheless, the district attorney refused to support McCaffrey’s request to vacate his conviction.
In 2009, the victim confessed that she had fabricated the rape story because her friends were angry with her for stranding them after she went off to a party with McCaffrey. She said the bruises and bite marks came from a physical altercation with her friends.
McCaffrey's attorney, Glenn Garber, founder of the Exoneration Initiative, filed a motion to vacate his conviction, and he was released on bail in September 2009.
In December 2009, the trial court vacated McCaffrey’s conviction and dismissed all charges. That same month, the victim pled guilty to perjury charges for the false accusation, and in February 2010, she was sentenced to 1-to-3 years in prison.
In October 2012, McCaffrey settled a claim filed with the New York Court of Claims for $425,000. He also filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the New York police department and agreed to a $700,000 settlement in January 2015.
- Stephanie Denzel