DENVER, Colo. (KUSA) – Happy is not a word you’d expect to hear from a man who spend 28 years in prison for the crime he said he didn’t commit.
Clarence Moses-EL is a free man now. He’s always said he was not guilty of raping and beating a woman in 1987. Last week, a jury in his second trial agreed with him.
He sat down to talk to KUSA a week after the verdict.
“It’s been a journey,” Moses-EL said.
Seems like an understatement, after two trials for sex assault and spending more than 28 years in prison.
“Twenty eight years and five months,” said Moses-EL.
Moses-EL’s journey started in 1987, when he was charged with raping and beating a neighbor. She said he did it. He said he didn’t. A jury back then found him guilty and sent him to prison.
“If you go to prison for sex crimes, people in the prison population will respect a murderer before he respects a sex offender,” Moses-EL said. “It takes a whole lot to survive in there.”
The details of how he got to a second trial are long and complex. All were put to rest by a Denver jury this month. The new set of jurors said not guilty.
“I don’t have no ill feelings toward the District Attorney, the DA’s office,” Moses-EL said. “I’m not angry. Things happen. I’m not saying that it was done deliberately, things happened, people do things. I believe in the system. And I believe the system is fair all the way.”
On his journey Moses-EL met a lot of people. One of them, a newspaper reporter covering his story. They became friends.
“There were times I think, I carried anger,” said Susan Greene. “He’s not angry. It’s not like he’s faking it for your cameras. He’s just not. I am. I think everybody should be.”
Greene has been writing about Moses-EL for 10 years.
“This is a sick and sad story and it never should’ve happened,” she said. “Who is the victim here really? It’s him!”
Moses-EL credits Greene’s stories and support for helping him get out of prison.
Hey says the “Justice For All” mantra of our system doesn’t fit his journey.
“My story, my experience, I can say, ‘nah, that ain’t true,’ because of what I went through. I know I didn’t receive justice,” Moses-EL said.
Now that he’s out, Moses-EL's new story is his to write and he’s already going about it his way.
“I’m happy,” he said. “A lot of people are intrigued about why I’m happy. I know why I’m happy. Because I invested in it.”
Copyright 2016 KUSA