Rape, robbery conviction vacated for BK man after nearly 30 years in prison

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DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN -

A Brooklyn man was freed Wednesday after serving nearly 30 years in prison for a rape and robbery that prosecutors now say he did not commit.

Mark Denny was 17 years old when he was arrested. Now 46, he says so many of his dreams died and that at times he thought he would commit suicide. But he says he never gave up hope his day of freedom would come.

Denny was serving time for a robbery and rape that happened in 1987. Four young men were charged with raping and robbing two store clerks at a Burger King after hours. Denny always maintained his innocence.

His case was picked up by the Innocence Project. Lawyers there said they could not find the evidence they needed to be submitted for DNA testing, so they brought the case to the attention of the district attorney's Conviction Review Unit. After that investigation, they found that the three other men charged were the "perpetrators of the crime" and that Denny was not involved.

Denny said the first thing he would do after being released was to have a large meal with his family. He says he would like to open his own barbershop one day.

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