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New trial ordered for man in Lawrence rape case

March 16, 2021 GMT

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — A judge has granted a new trial for a man serving a 12-year sentence in a rape case, finding that his trial attorney failed to review hundreds of text messages from his accuser whom he met at at popular bar near the University of Kansas campus.

The Lawrence Journal-World reports that Judge Sally Pokorny said Tuesday that she will soon order Albert Wilson transferred from a prison in Hutchinson back to the Douglas County Jail for a new bond hearing and the setting of a new trial.

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He was convicted of rape in 2019 after his accuser testified that he assaulted her at the bar in 2016 when he was a 20-year-old University of Kansas student and she was a drunk 17-year-old. She said he then walked her to his house a couple of blocks away and raped her before walking her back to the bar.

Pokorny said the text messages are directly related to the credibility of that testimony. The prosecution described the messages as indicating that the girl had more experience with alcohol and mental-health treatment than she revealed to the forensic psychologist who evaluated her.

“It is my firm belief that if a jury knew of the information contained in the 2,000 text messages taken from the victim’s phone, there is a substantial likelihood the outcome of this case would have been different,” Pokorny said.