A 59-year-man exonerated last year after spending 36 years behind bars for a rape and stabbing in Baton Rouge that he didn’t commit is seeking compensation in a federal lawsuit.
Archie Charles Williams sued the city of Baton Rouge, former police detectives and ex-state crime lab employees, and then-East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney’s Office investigator and current District Attorney Hillar Moore III.
That conduct was “deliberately calculated to, and did in fact violate Williams’ Fourteenth Amendment right to due process of law,” the lawsuit claims.
Police finally arrested Forbes in 1986 after finding him at the scene of an attempted rape in progress. He later confessed to four additional rapes in the same area, some with distinct similarities to the Hundred Oaks attack.
Forbes died in prison in 1996 while serving 20 years on an attempted rape conviction. He had suffered from severe mental illness for decades before his death.
Recent developments in fingerprint technology matched Forbes to the attack on the housewife for the first time in March 2019, resulting in Williams’ exoneration that same month.
Several people testified at Williams’ trial that he was asleep at home when the December 1982 rape occurred, providing details about their schedules that all converged on that point — including which soap opera was on television at the time the woman was attacked.
Different descriptions of the attacker also were provided by the victim and her friend, who witnessed part of the crime when she dropped off the victim’s daughter at the house after school.