Gilbert Alejandro was convicted of aggravated sexual assault in Ulvade County, Texas, in 1990. He was freed in 1994, one of many innocent men who had been convicted due to false testimony by Fred Zain.
The crime took place in the victim's apartment, where she was pulled inside the door, raped while her face was covered with a pillow, and threatened with death if she should call for help. The victim described her attacker, whom she glanced at during the attack, as Hispanic, about six feet tall, and wearing a white cap. Although police questioned a man who was wearing clothes similar to this description, no arrest was made. Instead, the police charged Alejandro with the crime some months later.
The victim failed to identify Alejandro in several photo lineups. She made one identification from a sketch lineup and later identified him in a live lineup. The most damaging testimony, however, came from Fred Zain, who reported that DNA testing that he performed on the evidence conclusively matched Alejandro. In cross examination, Zain reiterated his findings and pronounced that he was absolutely sure of his results and his testimony.
A subsequent reexamination of the DNA report yielded completely different results. Testing had not even been completed when Zain had issued his report. The final test results, completed after the trial, revealed that Alejandro was, in fact, excluded as the depositor of spermatozoa on the victim's clothing. Based on these test results, Alejandro's conviction was overturned and he was freed from prison.
Gilbert Alejandro had spent almost four years in prison on a twelve year sentence.