On October 5, 1991, Ronnie Gariepy’s 13-year-old step-daughter accused him of sexually assaulting her in Hutchinson County, Texas.
On June 30, 1992, Gariepy, 33, pled guilty to the charge after he told authorities that he was too drunk to remember what might or might not have happened. He told police that if his step-daughter said he did it, he probably did.
He was sentenced to 12 years in prison.
Eighteen months later, the step-daughter recanted her accusation. Gariepy appealed twice to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, attempting to vacate his plea because of the recantation. He was not successful.
On June 30, 1999, Gariepy was paroled.
In 2000, the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles recommended that he be pardoned on the basis of actual innocence.
On August 15, 2000, Governor George W. Bush pardoned Gariepy and declared him innocent.
– Maurice Possley