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Dale Mahan

Other Alabama Cases
Ronnie Mahan and his brother Dale were convicted in Alabama for the 1983 abduction and rape of a young woman. The victim was taken from a shopping mall, taken to the woods, forced to use drugs, and raped several times.
The victim later identified the brothers from a photo lineup, having gotten a look at the perpetrators when they had lifted their masks. Based largely on her identification, Ronnie and Dale Mahan were convicted in 1984. At trial, evidence was presented that the rapist has the same blood type as Dale. Evidence was also presented that a pubic hair from the crime scene "was consistent with Dale's hair." Ronnie was sentenced to life without parole and Dale to thirty-five years in prison. At trial, the prosecution contended that Dale Mahan raped the victim while Ronnie watched.
After the Mahans gained access to the biological evidence, swabs from the rape kit were tested and excluded both brothers. The Mahans were then granted a new trial.

The victim then said she had sex with her husband on the day she was abducted and that Mahan had not ejaculated. When further DNA tests excluded the husband, the woman said she had sex with a boyfriend on that day. DNA tests confirmed that the DNA profile from the rape kit matched the boyfriend.

The prosecution prepared for a second trial. At that time, the prosecution had pubic hairs collected from the victim submitted for DNA testing. Those tests excluded the Mahans, the husband and the boyfriend, the victim's husband, and another man as the source of the hairs.
The prosecution, despite insisting the brothers were guilty, moved for dismissal of charges against the brothers in December 1998. Ronnie and Dale Mahan were released the same month, each having spent over eleven years in prison. Neither man received any compensation.

Dale Mahan died in 2002 when he drove through a police license checkpoint and when pursued, flipped his vehicle and was killed.
Summary courtesy of the Innocence Project, Reproduced with permission.

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Posting Date:  Before June 2012
Last Updated: 10/19/2017
Most Serious Crime:Sexual Assault
Additional Convictions:Kidnapping
Reported Crime Date:1983
Sentence:35 years
Age at the date of reported crime:22
Contributing Factors:Mistaken Witness ID, False or Misleading Forensic Evidence
Did DNA evidence contribute to the exoneration?:Yes