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Man Once Branded 'Bronx Rapist' Exonerated Of All Charges

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- A man who spent eight years in prison – and who was once known as "the Bronx Rapist" – turned out to be the wrong man.

As CBS 2's John Slattery reported, after spending eight years behind bars for a crime authorities now say he did not commit, Tyrone Hicks has now been cleared of all charges.

"I feel kind of great – now knowing that I have been cleared," Hicks said, "something that I wanted all the time – that I wanted to clear my name.

The 57-year-old disabled Navy veteran was arrested 16 years ago after a series of attacks on women that had him branded, "the Bronx Rapist."

Based on the testimony of a 27-year-old victim, he was convicted of attempted rape.

Always claiming his innocence, Hicks served eight years in prison. Once he was released, seven years ago, he contacted the New York Law School's Post-Conviction Innocence Clinic and re-investigated his case with the help of law students.

In fact, the law school found never-before-tested scrapings from under the victim's fingernails.

"It showed male DNA – not a complete profile, but a partial profile that excluded Tyrone. It couldn't be him," said Adele Bernhard of the New York Law School. "He didn't do it."

On Thursday, a judge in the Bronx formally cleared him of the conviction after the New York Law School professor and students took up his cause.

"I want to know her I was innocent. I was innocent from the beginning, like I always said. Even on trial, I said I was innocent, but nobody wanted to listen," Hicks said.

While in prison, Hicks was divorced by his wife. He also developed diabetes and was attacked by fellow inmates.

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