On May 26 and May 30, 1984, two women, ages 26 and 20, were raped in separate incidents on different streets in Cheektowaga, New York.
A month later, Douglas Pacyon, 28, was arrested based on a composite sketch created by police with the help of the two victims.
In April 1985, Pacyon went on trial in Erie County Court on both cases. He was acquitted of the May 26, 1984 attack after the victim expressed doubt about whether he was her attacker. He was convicted of the May 30 attack after the victim said he was her assailant. The jury did not believe his testimony that he was at home asleep at the time of the attack.
Pacyon was sentenced to 3 and 1/3 to 10 years in prison.
In 1990, Pacyon completed his sentence and was released from prison. He later began attempting to persuade attorneys to petition for DNA testing on his behalf.
Attorney Thomas D’Agostino took the case and filed a petition in May 2008 seeking DNA testing. In January 2009, the tests excluded Pacyon as the source of the biological evidence in the May 30 rape.
Further testing was ordered on the evidence in the May 26 rape. That testing revealed an identical DNA profile to the May 30 rape—showing that the same person had committed both assaults.
On June 21, 2010, County Judge Michel Pietruszka dismissed the conviction on a joint motion brought by D’Agostino and Erie County District Attorney Frank Sedita III.
– Maurice Possley