Saturday, April 19, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Man cleared in rape jailed for gun, drugs

PITTSBURGH - A man wrongly incarcerated for 19 years in a 1986 rape, who was later exonerated by a DNA test, is headed back to prison on gun and drug charges.

Thomas Doswell, 54, of Pittsburgh, was sentenced Thursday to 111/2 to 23 months in the county jail. Doswell had pleaded guilty to possessing marijuana, crack cocaine, and a gun, which police found in August when they stopped him as a material witness to a murder. Doswell cannot legally possess a gun because of a 30-year-old robbery conviction.

Allegheny County Court Judge Anthony Mariani told Doswell he did not deserve another chance. "You sat in a cage for 18 or 19 years for something you didn't do," the judge told Doswell, noting if that prison time "didn't persuade you to not commit these offenses, I don't know what does."

Doswell was freed in 2005. He sued the city and won $3.8 million after claiming a photo lineup was tainted because his mug shot was marked with an "R" when the accuser identified him. At that time, police marked rape suspects' pictures with that letter, and the picture of Doswell, who had a prior rape arrest but not a conviction, was the only one in the photo lineup with such a mark.

Associated Press
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