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Edward Hodsdon

In 1946, Rose Willett, a female cab driver in Presque Isle, Maine, was assaulted by a passenger in her cab. Shortly after the assault, Edward A. Hodsdon, a 28-year-old white laborer from the Presque Isle area, was arrested in connection with the attack. Hodsdon fit the physical description of the attacker and was wearing clothes that fit the description of those worn by the attacker as well. Additionally, his foot fit the boot that had been worn by the attacker and used in the assault.

In November 1946, Hodsdon, charged with assault with intent to rape, went to trial for this attack. He pleaded his innocence at trial, but was convicted in Aroostook County, Maine, on November 19, 1946, and sentenced to fifteen years in prison.

Nearly six years later, in July 1952, Edward Kennison, a man from the same area who was two years younger than Hodsdon, was arrested on a morals charge involving an 8-year-old girl. When police spoke with him following his arrest, Kennison confessed to the 1946 attack on Rose Willett.

On August 7, 1952, Hodsdon was pardoned by Governor Frederick G. Payne and released from prison. “It’s wonderful, but everything’s still a turmoil in my mind,” Hodsdon said upon his release.

– Meghan Barrett Cousino

Most Serious Crime:Assault
Reported Crime Date:1946
Sentence:15 years
Age at the date of crime:26
Contributing Factors:Mistaken Witness ID