Nancy Smith, a Head Start bus driver, was wrongfully convicted in 1993 of child sexual abuse and served 15 years before gaining her freedom from prison in 2009. But it was not until 2022 that a Lorain County Common Pleas Court judge granted her a new trial. Judge Chris Cook stated in his order:
“In 1993, the law was different; child interview techniques were in their infancy; and the nation was gripped by a virtual hysteria regarding lurid, rampant allegations of child sex abuse.”
Immediately after the judge ruled, Lorain County Prosecuting Attorney J.D. Tomlinson announced that he was dismissing the charges, noting that the evidence showed that neither Nancy nor the man who had been convicted with her, Joseph Allen, had committed any crime. He then apologized to Nancy and her family.
Nancy continues to reside in Lorain. When she is not working with the dogs she loves, she is with her family. She continues to serve as one of OIP’s most prolific and popular education ambassadors, sharing her experiences with thousands of Ohioans.
Read more about Nancy’s case on the National Registry of Exonerations, at News 5 Cleveland, and here via Justice Denied.
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