This Navy Vet Was Accused Of Rape For 22 Years, Now This Is Finally Happening

Four Navy men were convicted for the 1997 rape and murder of Michelle Moore-Bosko of Norfolk, Virginia. A new confession and new DNA evidence has exonerated the men, but how they ended up taking the blame shows a sad and troubling problem.

Joseph Jesse Dick Jr., Danial Williams, Derek Tice, and Eric Wilson were dubbed as the 'Norfolk Four' after the men, all in the Navy, were given life sentences for Moore-Bosko's rape and death. It has been discovered that the investigator coerced each man to give a false confession.

Detective Glenn Ford took the confessions. The man say they were so broken they couldn't even remember what happened the night of the crime. Wilson began questioning his own innocence. “I remember Detective Ford pinning me to the chair, poking me in the forehead telling me he didn't think I killed her but I raped her so I better tell him what he wanted to hear. The next thing I knew, I was being carted off to jail,” he said.

The four were sentenced to life in prison, but all have since been released. Wilson was released in 2005, but even though he wasn't in jail anymore, life wasn't easy. He was still a registered sex offender and a convict, and those stigmas followed him wherever he went. He couldn't go to his son's boy scout meetings or attend school functions without an escort.

Ford, as it turns out, was convicted to lying to judges and prosecutors in 2010. He had previously been disciplined for extracting false confessions using harsh interrogation practices. He's serving 12 years in prison.

Omar Ballard eventually confessed to the crime, and says he acted alone. Ballard's DNA was found at the crime scene as well. Jurors from the original trial were asked to review the new evidence. " Had we heard this evidence during the trial, we would not have convicted Eric Wilson of rape. Instead, we would have been convinced, as we are now, that Wilson and the other three sailors are innocent," they said in a statement to former Virginia Governor Mark R. Warner.

The sailors have been exonerated after 20 years. The victim's family is not so sure, however. They question why the Navy men would 'admit to such a heinous crime and accept a jail sentence' if they were actually innocent.

The men’s' story is the subject of a Frontline documentary, entitled, "The Confessions."

Source: IJR
Photo: IJR

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