New York to Pay $5.5 Million to Man Wrongfully Convicted in the Rape of Alice Sebold

Anthony Broadwater

“Obviously no amount of money can erase the injustices Mr. Broadwater suffered, but the settlement now officially acknowledges them,” Alice Sebold said.

New York State has settled a lawsuit and agreed to pay $5.5 million to a man who spent 16 years behind bars after being wrongfully convicted of raping the writer of “The Lovely Bones," Alice Sebold, in 1981.

After spending over 16 years in prison and 23 years labeled as a sex offender, New York State has agreed to pay Anthony Broadwater, 62, $5.5 million to settle a lawsuit he filed against the state, according to the Associated Press.

The settlement was signed last week by New York State Attorney General Letitia James and Broadwater’s lawyers but it still has to be finalized by a judge before it is paid out, the AP reported. 

“I appreciate what Attorney General James has done, and I hope and pray that others in my situation can achieve the same measure of justice,” Broadwater said, according to The New York Times. “We all suffer from destroyed lives.”

The 1981 rape occurred while then-18-year-old Sebold was a student at Syracuse University, said The New York Times. She described in her memoir, “Lucky,” the details of the rape and the following events.

“Obviously no amount of money can erase the injustices Mr. Broadwater suffered, but the settlement now officially acknowledges them,” Sebold said, according to the AP.

Sebold passed Broadwater while walking on the street months after the attack and said she was sure he was her attacker, the AP reported. She did not pick him out of a police lineup but did identify him while on the stand at his trial, said the news site. 

The identification along with a microscopic hair analysis was enough to find him guilty, the AP reported. 

Sebold apologized in 2021 after Broadwater was exonerated. Broadwater is said to have accepted the apology and has no plans of suing Sebold over the incident, according to

“[Forty] years ago, as a traumatized 18-year-old rape victim, I chose to put my faith in the American legal system. My goal in 1982 was justice — not to perpetuate injustice,” said Sebold. “I am grateful that Mr. Broadwater has finally been vindicated, but the fact remains that 40 years ago, he became another young Black man brutalized by our flawed legal system. I will forever be sorry for what was done to him.”

The 62-year-old, who has spent the majority of his life dealing with the wrongful conviction, plans on living out his childhood dream with the money from the settlement, telling, “I’d like a nice farm with a brick house, an energy-efficient fireplace and some fruit trees,” Broadwater said. “I don’t need a mansion.”

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