Rodney Roberts was arrested in 1996 in Newark, New Jersey, after an altercation with a friend. After several days in custody, he found himself charged with the kidnapping and rape of a 17-year-old girl.
Roberts insisted police had the wrong man. His court appointed attorney advised him to plead guilty to the crime or risk a life sentence.
Roberts had a good job and had recently moved with his young son into a new apartment. Hoping to get back to his son as soon as possible, Roberts pleaded guilty to the crime in exchange for a seven-year sentence. He would end up spending 18 years in custody before DNA evidence excluded him as a perpetrator and he was exonerated and released in 2014.
Watch Rodney explain why he chose to plead guilty to a crime he didn’t commit for our Guilty Plea campaign.
Questions for Rodney? Ask them below and he’ll respond on Thursday, Feb. 2 at 1 p.m. ET via Facebook Live. Tune in.
Rodney is accepting donations through GoFundMe here.