In 1988, George Shull, 30, was accused of sexually assaulting a 43-year-old woman in Santa Clara County, California on Sept. 13, 1988.
A photograph of Shull was placed in a photographic lineup and the 43-year-old woman identified him as the man who assaulted her.
Shull was charged with sexual battery With a deadly weapon and assault with a deadly weapon. On November 8, 1989, Shull pled guilty in Santa Clara County Superior Court. He was sentenced to five years in prison.
Shull served 30 months and was released. In 2006, he hired a private investigator who met with the woman who accused him of assaulting her and she indicated she believed she had made a mistake identifying Shull.
In 2007, Santa Clara County deputy district attorney David Angel and a District Attorney investigator interviewed the woman and she confirmed that her initial confidence in her identification was an eight out of a scale of 10 and that her confidence had since dropped to a four out of 10.
After Shull took and passed a polygraph test, the District Attorney’s office contacted the Northern California Innocence Project at Santa Clara University Law School to prepare a habeas petition on Shull’s behalf.
On Dec. 10, 2009, the petition was granted and the charges were dismissed. He later sought compensation from the state of California, but the claim was denied.
– Maurice Possley