Lawyers: DNA clears Manatee man of '92 rape

MANATEE -- Attorneys from the Innocence Project of Florida on Tuesday will hold a news conference to release new DNA test results they say demonstrate that a man convicted for a 1992 kidnapping and rape in Manatee County is, in fact, innocent.

Derrick Williams, who was convicted in March 1993, is currently serving a life prison sentence at the Hardee Correctional Institution, according to the Florida Department of Corrections website.

"Members of Mr. Williams’ family will also be available for comment at this time," a news release states. "Florida’s most recent DNA exonoree, James Bain, will be in attendance to show support for Mr. Williams and his family. Bain’s 35 years of wrongful incarceration is the longest time served by any of the 255 DNA exonorees nationwide."

Williams, then 30, was found guilty of kidnapping a woman at her Palmetto home Aug. 6, 1992. She was driven to an orange grove north of Palmetto where she was raped.

The news conference is set for 10:30 a.m. at the Manatee County Judicial Center in downtown Bradenton.

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