In April 1991, a woman alleged that she was walking home from school in Washington, D.C., when a man threatened her with a gun, took her to his apartment, and raped her.
The victim led police to 19-year-old Anthony Bragdon’s apartment where they found a starter pistol. Bragdon admitted giving the victim a ride, but denied that he raped her.
The medical exam of the victim was inconclusive and no blood or semen was found in Bragdon’s apartment. Michael Malone, an FBI hair and fiber expert, analyzed carpet fibers found on the victim’s underwear and testified at Bragdon's trial that the fibers matched Bragdon’s carpet.
A jury convicted Bragdon in 1992 of assault with intent to rape and possession of a firearm during a crime of violence and sentenced to 30 years.
An internal FBI investigation in 1997 determined that Malone had given inaccurate testimony and had failed to disclose the presence of non-matching fibers to the prosecution or the defense. The prosecution and defense were not informed of this fact until 2001.
Bragdon’s attorney appealed his conviction and, while he awaited the outcome, Bragdon was released on parole in 2002. A court overturned his conviction on March 14, 2003, and prosecutors dismissed the charges.
- Stephanie Denzel