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Albert Wilson met by supporter rally outside following release

Published: Mar. 23, 2021 at 6:38 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Albert Wilson was greeted by cheers and tears Tuesday afternoon following his release from the Douglas Co. Judicial and Law Enforcement Center.

He had been serving a 12-year sentence for a rape conviction in 2019 but is now getting a new trial after a judge found his trial lawyer in the initial trial failed to review hundreds of text messages between Wilson and his accuser, who was 17-years-old at the time. They met at a popular bar near the University of Kansas campus.

His new representation said he’s adjusting and that it’s a bit of a shock but they are hopeful to resolve it.

Attorney Josh Dubin with the Innocence Project who is co-counsel for Wilson said the support he received today, and throughout the process, matters.

“It keeps us going as fighting for Albert but most importantly, it’s not about us it’s about him and kept him going when he was away and praying for this day but we’re only a part of the way home,” he said.

Last week, a Douglas Co. judge ordered a new trial in the Wilson case along with setting the new trial date. The Douglas Co. District Attorney said she and Wilson’s attorneys hope to resolve the case in good faith before then.

Michael Whalen, attorney and co-counsel for Wilson, agreed with Dubin when he said they did not want another trial.

Dubin said, “I think this has been a long, hard, emotional fight for all parties involved and we’re grateful for the way the justice system is now working. Now working.”

He was allowed to leave the prison but with conditions -- a $75,000 bail, ankle monitoring, he’s not allowed to post on social media, talk to media or name the accuser.

Family, friends and supporters gathered outside of the building to see him take those steps.

Ari Davis, a supporter, said they don’t get too many victories like this.

“Especially in the brown and black community. There’s a lot of injustices that happen on an everyday basis so when we see a small, incremental win like this. It’s a win for the entire community,” she said.

Dubin said it’s not the end result they want to see but it is the first step for Wilson to live his live outside bars again.

“Albert’s a little overwhelmed. He knows what the case has meant also respectful of the fact that there are people on the other side of this that have a different perspective even though we disagree with it,” said Dubin. “He has carried himself with strength and honor and class all the way through and he needs to be commended for that.”

Davis said, “When you see a young man that’s doing the right thing, going to college, getting his education and then he’s convicted wrongly of a crime that he didn’t commit, we all have to stand up for that. There’s no one that needs to be silent when someone is wrongly convicted so this is what you see and all across our world, everyone is happy. It’s a win for all of us.”

Wilson is due back in court in Douglas Co. on May 13.

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