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Author Alice Sebold has apologized to the man wrongly convicted of her 1981 rape.
The Lovely Bones writer, who detailed her assault in the memoir Lucky, was a Syracuse University student when she was targeted, and Anthony Broadwater was convicted of the crime in 1982.
He served 16 years behind bars and was exonerated last week after prosecutors re-examined the case against him and determined there were serious flaws in his arrest and trial.
“My goal in 1982 was justice – not to perpetuate injustice,” Sebold wrote on Tuesday. “And certainly not to forever, and irreparably, alter a young man’s life by the very crime that had altered mine.”
In Lucky, Sebold recalled being raped and then spotting a black man in the street several months later, who she believed was her attacker. She went to police, and Broadwater was arrested.
The writer failed to identify him in a police line-up, but he was still put on trial and convicted after Sebold identified him as her rapist in court.
“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,” Alice adds. “I will forever be sorry for what was done to him.
“It has taken me these past eight days to comprehend how this could have happened. I will continue to struggle with the role that I unwittingly played within a system that sent an innocent man to jail. I will also grapple with the fact that my rapist will, in all likelihood, never be known, may have gone on to rape other women, and certainly will never serve the time in prison that Mr. Broadwater did.”
Broadwater has yet to comment.
Meanwhile, You star Victoria Pedretti has reportedly dropped out of a movie adaptation of Lucky following Broadwater’s exoneration.
The project has also reportedly lost all of its financing.