NC man granted $3.25 million after serving 24 years for rape he didn’t commit

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HICKORY, N.C. — A North Carolina man who was convicted of rape in 1988 and released from prison in 2012 has been awarded $3.25 million in a settlement with the City of Hickory.

WBTV reports that the Hickory City Council unanimously approved on Wednesday a settlement agreement with Willie Grimes.

Grimes was initially convicted of the rape and kidnapping of a 69-year-old woman and sentenced to life but he was released in 2012. Once he was out, the North Carolina Innocent Inquiry Commission found that fingerprint evidence in the case did not match Grimes’ prints.

In 2014, he filed a lawsuit against the City and an agreement was reached. Hickory is set to pay $2,250,650 and the city’s insurance provider is slated to cover $999,350.

“Our system doesn’t guarantee that every decision reached will be the correct decision, but it’s supposed to guarantee a fair trial,” said Hickory mayor Rudy Wright, according to WBTV.

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