Until false rape allegations start attracting heavy penalties, many will keep suffering unjustly while the perpetrators walk freely in the face of injustice.


Fate has smiled on an innocent man who spent 44 years in prison for rape. He has received $25 million in compensation in the U.S.


A North Carolina man who spent 44 years in prison after being wrongfully convicted of raping a woman in 1976 has reached a historic $25 million (about ₦25 billion) combined settlement in a civil lawsuit in the U.S.

Rape Allegation Turned Out False

Ronnie Long, 68, received $22 million from the city and $3 million from the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, according to one of his lawyers, Jamie T.Lau.


In a written public apology to Mr. Long on Tuesday, the Concord City Council said: “We are deeply remorseful for the past wrongs that caused tremendous harm to Mr. Long, his family, friends, and our community.

“Mr. Long suffered the extraordinary loss of his freedom and a substantial portion of his life because of this conviction.


“He wrongly served 44 years, 3 months, and 17 days in prison for a rape crime he did not commit.

“While there are no measures to fully restore to Mr. Long and his family all that was taken from them, through this agreement, we are doing everything in our power to right the past wrongs and take responsibility”.

The Court Sentence 

Mr. Long was a 21-year-old cement mason with a 2-year-old son when he was convicted on October 1, 1976. The accuser claimed he broke into a home in Concord, about 25 miles northeast of Charlotte, and raped a 54-year-old woman earlier that year.

He was sentenced to two concurrent life sentences even though no physical evidence linked him to the crime, his lawyers said.


Mr. Long’s lawyers said the Concord police had been under pressure to close the case in part because the victim’s late husband had been an executive at a local textile company, Cannon Mills, which had offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest, the NY Times reports.

The victim had identified Mr. Long as her attacker, but only after the police brought her into a courtroom in a wig and glasses to watch as Mr. Long faced a bogus charge of trespassing in a city park, according to court documents, a process that his lawyers said was highly suggestive.


Police Hid Evidence

Mr. Long, who is black, has dark skin, and the victim, who was white, had previously described her attacker as a “yellow- or really light-skinned black male,” Mr. Long’s lawyers said.

The police hid evidence from Mr. Long’s trial lawyers that would have undercut the courtroom identification, according to a lawsuit that Mr. Long filed against the city in 2021.

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That evidence included hair and more than 40 fingerprints found at the crime scene that did not match Mr. Long’s, the lawsuit said.

“Mr. Long was targeted by police; the police manufactured a jury pool to ensure his conviction, and when the evidence indicated they had the wrong person, they just lied about it or made it disappear,” Mr. Lau said.

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