Man who spent 27 years behind bars walks free after conviction overturned

Posted at 3:31 PM, Feb 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-08 19:08:42-05

A Detroit man who has been behind bars for 27 years for a crime he says he never committed was released from prison Wednesday.

Bernard Young was convicted of sexually abusing two young boys on Hendricks in Detroit in 1988. But at a hearing before Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Qiana Lillard this morning, Lillard ruled that Young will be let go on $5,000 personal bond while he awaits a new trial in June.

Lillard ruled this week to grant Young a new trial based on written statements from the victims, who were 5-year-old and 6-year-old boys at the time and said their statements were coerced, according to attorney Claudia Whitman who has been working on the case for years.

Witness statements and other evidence point to the boys' stepfather, who is believed to be the one who abused the children, and threatened to kill them and their mother if they told.

He also forced them to blame Young for the abuse. But one boy said in a sworn affidavits that he did not know Young and had no idea if he lived in the neighborhood. 

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