Man wrongfully convicted of rape in 2002 released from prison - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Man wrongfully convicted of rape in 2002 released from prison

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Theresa Chatman and her brother Carl outside her home in Berwyn Theresa Chatman and her brother Carl outside her home in Berwyn
CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

The Cook County State's attorney dismissed charges against two men who have been in prison for years for crimes they did not commit.

Latherial Boyd was convicted of murder in 1990 and Carl Chatman was convicted in 2004 of sexual assault. Both men were set free on Tuesday.

The charges in both cases were dropped after the State's Attorney's Conviction Integrity Unit reviewed them and found the evidence just did not hold up.

After 9 years in prison, for a crime he did not commit, 58-year-old Carl Chatman arrived home at his sister's apartment in Berwyn as a free man.

"I feel pretty good, yea" Carl Chatman told reporters. "I well, look like God answered my dream today."

"It just felt like, you know, you shake up a pop, you open it up and it just spray out everywhere, that's kinda how I felt, that's how I'm still feeling, I'm still on top of the world," Carl's sister, Theresa, said.

But it took 4,127 days to get to this day. Chatman, a homeless man, was arrested in 2002 for a sexual assault at the Daley Center. A woman claimed she was attacked after coming to work early.

Chatman, who has a history of mental illness and has a low IQ, confessed and was convicted in 2004.

Chatman's sister said there was a rush to judgment.

"It was the Daley Center, they had to hurry up and fix that. They was not gonna let that go, not in Mayor Daley's house," she believes. "Oh know somebody had to be picked up real quick. That had to be over just like that."

But when the State's Attorney's office reviewed the case, they learned of a sleeping deputy who was 20 feet away from where the alleged crime happened.

But his information was not available during trial.

"Although the complaining witness testified that she had cried out for help and fought loudly with Mr. Chatman during the attack the deputy sheriff heard no noise whatsoever and only awoke from his sleep after other deputy sheriffs came to the floor after emergency assistance was called," Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alarez explained.

That undermined the woman's story and led to Chatman's release.

"At first I was angry, but I just put everything in God's hands and he delivered me from the evil in prison," said Chatman.

Theresa Chatman says the woman, who won a civil lawsuit for the fake Daley Center attack, as well as another suit stemming from a similar claim in 1979, should give the money back--and more.

"I think she needs to publicly apologize to my brother," Theresa told reporters. "That's what I would like. I would like that, but I know I'm not gonna get it."

Chatman says he plans to just enjoy life now and stay in his "rocking chair with his son and grand babies."

Chatman's first meal after prison was chicken and coffee along with an orange drink with no ice, which he got from Culvers on the way home.

Chatman says he likes to work and would like to get a job if possible-- but for now, he's just going to be with his sister and stay out of trouble.

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