Rape Victim's Family Discusses DNA Exoneration

12:10 AM, Apr 24, 2005   |    comments
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New DNA evidence proved he didn't rape a teenage girl more than two decades ago. But the victim, who is now in her 30's, still believes Anthony Woods committed the crime. Because this is a rape case, NewsChannel 5 did not identify the victim. The victim's mother said, "He raped her that morning, walked by our house that afternoon and my daughter saw him." The victim's mother said, "We went back to the cell to identify him and that's when he laughed at me." That laugh still haunts the victim's mother. But what hurts and frustrates her is the fact that Woods has been cleared of his rape conviction. It was early in the morning when the victim was walking to catch the schoolbus. The victim was snatched and raped behind a store near her home. Woods lived less than 2 blocks from the victim in St. Louis when the rape happened. The victim's mother said, "At the time, police told us other girls identified him for rape but she was the only one that went all the way through with the case." Woods was convicted after the then-15-year-old victim testified against him in court. The victim's mother said, "At the court proceedings, they caught him in lies." But Woods always maintained his innocence. oods said, "How can she do this? You start feeling like you don't like them...you hate them...whatever... My main thing was just proving my innocence." Woods spent 18 years in prison and 3 years on parole. But new DNA evidence overturned his conviction. However, the family is still convinced Woods is the rapist. The victim's mother said, "I believe in DNA but he could've used a rubber or whatever. But he raped my daughter. Like she said, Momma, I know who raped me." The DNA sample that was taken from the victim in 1983 was not enough to prove who committed the rape.

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