Armand Villasana

Time Served: 1 year

Armand Villasana was convicted in 1999 of rape, stemming from a 1998 kidnapping and rape. The victim, who is white, identified Villasana, who is Latino, from a photo line up that contained pictures of five white men and one Latino - Villasana. The victim had previously described her assailant as Hispanic.

Armand Villasana was convicted in 1999 of rape, stemming from a 1998 kidnapping and rape. The victim, who is white, identified Villasana, who is Latino, from a photo line up that contained pictures of five white men and one Latino – Villasana. The victim had previously described her assailant as Hispanic.

Though Villasana was never sentenced, he was convicted and spent close to two years in prison while his case played out. The original attorney on his case was never provided with the bench notes from the state crime laboratory examination. Villasana’s subsequent attorney, M. Shawn Askinosie, filed a court order to obtain the bench notes, which revealed a positive acid phosphatase result, indicating that semen was present on an item of evidence. The defense then sent the evidence to an independent laboratory and paid for testing.

Three items of evidence were subjected to STR based DNA testing. The profiles obtained from this evidence excluded Villasana. This evidence was brought to his sentencing hearing, where he faced up to forty years for the rape conviction. The prosecution dropped the case and issued a statement that “the three pieces of DNA evidence, when taken together, make it impossible for the state to prove its case against Armand Villasana beyond a reasonable doubt.” Villasana was freed in June 2000.

State: Missouri

Charge: Rape, Kidnapping

Conviction: Rape, Kidnapping

Sentence: Not Sentenced

Incident Date: 09/16/98

Conviction Date: 11/10/99

Exoneration Date: 06/21/00

Served: 1 year

Race of Victim: Caucasian

Status: Exonerated by DNA

Contributing Causes of Conviction: Eyewitness Misidentification

Race of Defendant: Latino

Innocence Project Involved: No

Death Penalty Case: no

Accused Plead Guilty: No

The Alternative Perpetrator Identified: No

Real Perpetrator Convicted of Subsequent Crime: No

Type of Crime: Sex Crimes

Compensation: State Statute

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