DETROIT (CBS DETROIT/AP) — A man convicted of sexual assault 20 years after the crime has been released from prison after the Detroit Free Press raised significant doubts about the case.

Wayne County prosecutors agree that James Clay should be free on bond while awaiting a new court hearing. The Michigan appeals court ordered his release Monday.

In 2017, Clay was convicted of raping a teenager back in 1997 and sentenced to at least 25 years in prison. He was charged after his DNA was compared to evidence that had languished in storage.

Clay says he’s innocent. They had an intimate relationship when he was 16 and she was 15, around the same time she said she was assaulted by a man with a gun. Now 37 years old, she says she didn’t recognize Clay at trial as her old boyfriend.

Clay didn’t tell police that the woman was a former girlfriend because he was shown a 2015 picture and didn’t recognize her.

© 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Associated Press contributed to this report.

Comments