Accused, convicted, assaulted, raped, but innocent all along

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When Bernard Baran was arrested he was a 19-year-old kid. He spent the next 21 years of his life in prison for a crime that he didn't commit. He was victim of a sex abuse panic that swept the nation. He was also the victim of bigoted attitudes and found guilty largely because he was gay. Because he insisted on the truth, insisted he was innocent, he was denied parole when eligible for it. Because he wouldn't confess he was kept in a more dangerous prison and classified as a "sexually dangerous person." He was punished for telling the truth and bribed to lie, a bribe he refused.

In the Southeastern Correctional Center three inmates beat him and gang raped him. To be eligible for a safer prison all he had to do was confess. In Norfolk prison he twice tried to take his own life. When he was finally sent to a mental hospital (which is still a prison no matter what they call it) he had to endure therapists who "attempt to 'heal' those with sexual illnesses," including his alleged illness. Today, he is free. Today, the cumulative evidence shows he was innocent all along, just as he said. He was not a criminal; he was a victim.

source: Article 'Accused, convicted, assaulted, raped, but innocent all along';; Classically Liberal; 20 August 2009