On July 4, 2006, 21-year-old Christopher Burrowes was arrested in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and charged with first degree sexual assault of a child after a 12-year-old girl claimed he had sex with her in his home on June 27.
The girl knew Burrowes because she hung around a basketball court that Burrowes frequented.
Burrowes went on trial in Milwaukee County Circuit Court in February, 2007. The girl testified about the sexual assault. There was no physical or forensic evidence to support her story. Burrowes, who had refused to accept an offer to plead guilty, denied the accusation.
He was convicted by a jury on February 8, 2007 and sentenced to three years in prison. He was also required to register as a sex offender.
Burrowes was released from prison in July 2009 after serving his sentence.
In December 2009, the victim, by then 16 years old, was being interviewed by police on an unrelated matter when she volunteered that her testimony against Burrowes was false.
The girl said that when she accused Burrowes, she was having a sexual relationship with an adult uncle, which had started when she was 11. When her mother became suspicious, the girl accused Burrowes to deflect attention from her uncle.
The Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office re-investigated the case and determined that the recantation was credible.
On the motion of the District Attorney, the conviction was vacated on December 16, 2009 and the case was dismissed.
In October 2011, Burrowes was awarded $15,000 in compensation by the State of Wisconsin—the maximum of $5,000 for each of the three years he was in prison.
– Maurice Possley