Muncie man exonerated Wednesday after DNA tests show he didn’t commit ’92 rape

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William Barnhouse (Photo courtesy of the Muncie Star Press)

Update (3/8) – According to The Star Press, 60-year-old William E. Barnhouse was released from prison Wednesday and is a free man for the first time in almost 25 years.

Delaware County Judge Kimberly Dowling granted his freedom after hearing local prosecutors and attorneys with the Innocence Project.

Barnhouse is not home free officially yet. Chief Prosecutor Eric Hoffman told the judge that his office will make a decision in the coming weeks to bring him to trial for a second time or not.

Original Story:

MUNCIE, Ind.— A central Indiana man who’s spent nearly a quarter-century in prison is seeking to have his rape conviction vacated after DNA tests show he wasn’t the assailant.

A joint motion filed Wednesday by Delaware County prosecutors and attorneys with the Innocence Project who represent 60-year-old William E. Barnhouse asks a judge to set aside his convictions.

Barnhouse was accused of attacking a Muncie woman in 1992.

The Star Press reports DNA tests performed last year found another man’s semen on her pants and body.

The joint motion notes the testing had excluded Barnhouse as the source of the semen recovered in that crime.

He was found guilty but mentally ill of rape and criminal deviate conduct in December 1992 and sentenced to 80 years in prison.