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DA Recommends Dallas Man's 1982 Sexual Assault Conviction Be Overturned

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) -- Mallory Vernon Nicholson, 74, who was convicted of burglary of a habitation and two counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a child back in 1982 should have that conviction overturned. That according to Dallas County District Attorney John Creuzot.

The Conviction Integrity Unit (CIU) made the recommendation on Tuesday, May 25 saying that prosecutors withheld evidence of another possible suspect in the case.

CIU Chief Cynthia Garza said, "The outcome would've been different if they tried the case now" citing citing Brady v. Maryland.

"Brady requires that prosecutors fully disclose to the accused all exculpatory evidence in their possession," according to the Federal Judicial Center.

According to a release from Creuzot, Nicholson was released from prison in June 2003 after serving 21 years of his 55-year sentence but remains on sex-offender parole.

The case was brought to the CIU by the Innocence Project.

Nicholson has always maintained that he was at his wife's funeral 35 miles away hours before the attack. Friends also said he was with them afterward.

According to the DA's office:

The suspect was consistently described in initial investigative documents as a 14-year-old male nicknamed "CoCo" who lived across the street from the offense location. In contrast, Nicholson was 35 years old at the time of the offense.

Nearly four decades later, after reviewing the case, the Dallas County District Attorney's Office has decided to recommend habeas corpus relief for Nicholson. Prosecutors and defense attorneys submitted agreed findings in the case, which a state district judge signed this month. 

The DA's office said that Nicholson was convicted "solely on eyewitness testimony" which was considered the "gold standard" of prosecutions back in 1982.

The case now moves to the the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.




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