NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A Brooklyn man spent nearly a year behind bars after being charged with a rape he did not commit.
The alleged victim recanted her story, but the district attorney still pursued the case and got an indictment.
Darrell Dula, 25, was freed from jail and is now back with his brother and 3-year-old son in Crown Heights.
“I mean it feels good, feels good. I was innocent the whole time,” Dula told CBS 2’s John Slattery on Wednesday.
Dula’s 74-year-old ailing mother, Clarice Dula, was also relieved.
“I’m happy, happy, happy. I thank God, but I knew he didn’t do it,” she said.
Dula, who had been in jail since June of 2011, was charged with forcible rape of a 22-year-old Orthodox Jewish woman. He was one of four men arrested. The other three were charged with sex trafficking by District Attorney Charles Hynes.
“It’s sex trafficking. It’s rape. It’s the entire gamut of sexual abuse,” Hynes said back in June of 2011.
However, the day after the woman made the rape allegations, she told detectives she had been a hooker since age 13, and made up the story.
“When the detective asked her why did you make up the story? She replied and this is what the detective wrote in his official report, ‘Can’t a ho change her life?'” said James Phillips, Dula’s attorney.
Police filed a report saying she recanted and she signed a statement. Despite that, the district attorney’s office pursued an indictment against Dula and got it.
“Whether it was deliberate or just negligence, I can’t tell. Only Mr. Hynes and his people can tell you,” Phillips said.
In a statement, the DA said, “The sex trafficking case against the other three defendants is not affected. When we discovered the recantation regarding this rape incident we immediately notified the defense attorneys.”
“I should have never been in jail,” Dula said.
Dula said the wrongful accusation has been a nightmare, in which he was denied 10 months of his life. Dula said he is hoping the case against him will dismissed when he returns to court June 11.
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