NATIONAL NEWS

Author Alice Sebold apologizes to man cleared in 1981 rape

Nov 30, 2021, 5:16 PM
FILE...
FILE photo

NEW YORK (AP) — Author Alice Sebold publicly apologized Tuesday to the man who was exonerated last week in the 1981 rape that was the basis for her memoir “Lucky” and said she was struggling with the role she played “within a system that sent an innocent man to jail.”

Anthony Broadwater, 61, was convicted in 1982 of raping Sebold when she was a student at Syracuse University. He served 16 years in prison. His conviction was overturned Nov. 22 after prosecutors reexamined the case and determined there were serious flaws in his arrest and trial.

In a statement released to The Associated Press and later posted on Medium, Sebold, the author of the novels “The Lovely Bones” and “The Almost Moon,” wrote to Broadwater that she was truly sorry for what he’d been through.

“I am sorry most of all for the fact that the life you could have led was unjustly robbed from you, and I know that no apology can change what happened to you and never will,” she wrote.

She wrote that “as a traumatized 18-year-old rape victim, I chose to put my faith in the American legal system. My goal in 1982 was justice — not to perpetuate injustice. And certainly not to forever, and irreparably, alter a young man’s life by the very crime that had altered mine.”

In a statement issued by his lawyers, Broadwater said he was “relieved that she has apologized.”

He went on, “It must have taken a lot of courage for her to do that. It’s still painful to me because I was wrongfully convicted, but this will help me in my process to come to peace with what happened.”

Sebold wrote in 1999’s “Lucky” of being raped and then spotting a Black man in the street several months later who she believed was her attacker.

Sebold, who is white, went to police. An officer said the man in the street must have been Broadwater, who had supposedly been seen in the area.
After Broadwater was arrested, Sebold failed to identify him in a police lineup, picking a different man as her attacker because she was frightened of “the expression in his eyes.”

But prosecutors put Broadwater on trial anyway, telling Sebold . He was convicted based largely on Sebold identifying him as her rapist on the witness stand and testimony that microscopic hair analysis had tied him to the crime. That type of analysis has since been deemed junk science by the U.S. Department of Justice.

Broadwater, who was released from prison in 1998, told the AP last week he was crying “tears of joy and relief” after his conviction was overturned by a judge in Syracuse.

Sebold, who has not previously commented on Broadwater’s exoneration, said in her statement, “I am grateful that Mr. Broadwater has finally been vindicated, but the fact remains that 40 years ago, he became another young Black man brutalized by our flawed legal system. I will forever be sorry for what was done to him.”

Broadwater remained on New York’s sex offender registry after he was released from prison and has worked as a trash hauler and a handyman.

“It has taken me these past eight days to comprehend how this could have happened,” said Sebold, now 58. “I will continue to struggle with the role that I unwittingly played within a system that sent an innocent man to jail. I will also grapple with the fact that my rapist will, in all likelihood, never be known, may have gone on to rape other women, and certainly will never serve the time in prison that Mr. Broadwater did.”

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

National News

NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 14: Historian David McCullough poses for a picture at the History Makers Gala a...
Associated Press

David McCullough, Pulitzer-winning historian, dies at 89

David McCullough, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author whose lovingly crafted narratives on subjects ranging from the Brooklyn Bridge to Presidents John Adams and Harry Truman made him among the most popular and influential historians of his time, has died. He was 89.
17 hours ago
Lexington Fire Department Search and Rescue team perform a targeted search on Highway 476 where thr...
SEUNG MIN KIM, CHRIS MEGERIAN and BRUCE SCHREINER, Associated Press

Biden surveys flood damage in Kentucky, pledges more US help

President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden are witnessing firsthand the damage from deadly and devastating storms that have resulted in the worst flooding in Kentucky’s history.
17 hours ago
FILE PHOTO (Deseret News)...
Associated Press

Man arrested in death of Navajo woman; remains found in 2021

Authorities say a Pinon man has been arrested in connection with the death of a Navajo woman who was reported missing in 2019.
17 hours ago
The United States obtained a warrant for seizure of an Airbus A319-100 owned and controlled by sanc...
Kara Scannell

Judge authorizes warrant for US to seize Russian oligarch’s $90 million private plane

U.S. authorities have obtained a warrant to seize a Russian oligarch's private plane, valued at over $90 million, for violating U.S. sanctions for Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
17 hours ago
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 16: Olivia Newton-John performs during Fire Fight Australia at ANZ Sta...
Brandon Griggs, CNN

Olivia Newton-John, singer and actress, dead at 73

Olivia Newton-John, who charmed generations of viewers in the blockbuster movie "Grease," died on Monday, according to a statement from her husband.
17 hours ago
File Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images...
Paul R. La Monica, CNN Business

The meme stock craze is back: AMC, GameStop and Bed Bath & Beyond soar

Shares of movie theater chain AMC, video game retailer GameStop and struggling home furnishings retailer Bed Bath & Beyond soared Monday.
17 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

tips how to quit smoking...

7 Tips How to Quit Smoking | Quitting Smoking Might be One of the Hardest Things You Ever Do but Here’s Where You Can Start

Quitting smoking cigarettes can be incredibly difficult. Here are 7 tips how to quit smoking to help you on your quitting journey.
Photo: Storyblocks...
Blue Stakes of Utah 811

Blue Stakes of Utah 811: 5 Reasons To Call 811 Before You Dig When Working in Your Yard

Call before you dig. Even at home, you could end up with serious injuries or broken utilities just because you didn't call Blue Stakes of Utah 811.
Days of...
Days of '47 Rodeo

TRIVIA: How well do you know your rodeo? Take this quiz before you go to the Days of ’47!

The Utah Days of ’47 Rodeo presented by Zions Bank is a one-of-a-kind Gold Medal Rodeo being held July 20-23, 25 at 7:30 PM. The Days of ’47 Rodeo How well do you know your rodeo trivia? Take the quiz to test your know-all before heading out to the Days of ’47 Rodeo at the […]
cyber security through multi factor authentication setup...
Les Olson IT

How multi factor authentication setup helps companies stay safe

Multi factor authentication (MFA) setup is an important security measure that every company should implement for their workers. It’s also wise to install it for your personal and home accounts.
...
Lighting Design

Check out these stunning lamps with stained glass shades

Lamps with stained glass shades are statement pieces that are more than simply aesthetic. They also meet a functional requirement: to light up a room.
Address Bar of internet browser shows internet access...
AARP Utah

Utah voters 50+ support increased access to Internet

The AARP surveyed Utah voters aged 50 plus about internet access and if they support the expansion of broadband, especially in rural areas currently lacking it.
Author Alice Sebold apologizes to man cleared in 1981 rape