A man who was released from prison in 2016 after having his 1987 rape conviction overturned and who quickly became the poster boy for the criminal justice reform movement has now been charged with raping a woman in Lawrence, Massachusetts.
George Perrot, 50-years-old, will appear in court this week on rape charges — as well as a charge for allegedly assaulting a police officer. Essex County, Massachusetts, prosecutors say he raped an unconscious woman on a sidewalk in Lawrence on January 4.
Perrot’s alleged victim told police she was offered drugs before becoming unconscious.
“The victim was revived using Narcan and reported to officers that the defendant allegedly offered her drugs and she did not remember anything after that,” a spokesperson for Essex District Attorney’s Office told the Associated Press. “She reported not consenting to sexual contact nor was she in a dating relationship with the defendant.”
On January 4, police were called to a sidewalk in Lawrence after a bystander saw the woman and Perrot lying on the ground. The woman, who was partially naked, and Perrot were both on the sidewalk unconscious, police said.
An officer woke up Perrot, who then allegedly charged at him before being subdued. Police officers gave the woman Narcan to revive her from an overdose. Once conscious, she said Perrot had given her a powder substance, which officers believe was heroin. According to the woman, Perrot told her to snort the powder.
She told police that she knew Perrot but that the two of them were not dating and that she never consented to have sex with him.
Perrot pleaded not guilty, and a grand jury indicted him in March. The suspect has been held at the Middleton House of Correction since the charges were brought against him.
In 2016, Perrot became the poster boy for the criminal justice reform movement after a judge overturned his 1987 rape conviction that had put him away for 30 years.
The conviction claimed that Perrot, 17 years old at the time, had raped a 78-year-old woman in his neighborhood in 1985. Though the victim did not pick him out of a lineup, prosecutors charged Perrot, and he was convicted two years later.
In 2015, an FBI expert said Perrot’s hair was found at the scene of the 1985 rape but that accuracy of the hair analysis had been overstated in the trial. In 2016, Perrot’s rape conviction was overturned, and he was released from prison after serving 30 years.
Quickly after his release, Perrot’s case was catapulted into the spotlight by the criminal justice reform movement, which claimed that the alleged rapists’ release was not only a win for their cause, but a call to action.
“In recent years, we have seen attempts to hold police officers culpable for their unjustified split-second decisions,” Professors Richard Moran and James Alan Fox wrote in the Boston Globe at the time. “Perhaps it is time to hold prosecutors responsible for their deliberate disregard for justice in an effort to win a conviction.”
Attorneys with the Innocence Project, who helped free Perrot, called his release a “milestone.”
“For more than two decades, FBI agents erroneously testified or provided erroneous reports in practically every case where microscopic hair analysis was used to connect a person to a crime,” the Innocence Project’s Chris Fabricant said in a statement. “Mr. Perrot’s case was one of the first to be identified. There are no doubt many others still fighting for justice.”
“Today’s milestone is a vindication of George Perrot,” attorney Kirsten Mayer said. “That our team could secure his release and bring a sense of resolution is humbling.”
Hampden, Massachusetts, District Attorney Anthony Gulluni said Perrot should have never been released from prison and maintains that he committed the 1985 rape.
“We have and do continue to maintain the position that George Perrot committed several heinous offenses of elderly female victims,” Gulluni told the media. “Regrettably, there is another victim who has now allegedly suffered at his hands three decades later.”
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.