Prosecutor: Man was wrongly convicted of rape

GRAND RAPIDS (AP) — A Grand Rapids man spent about 17 years in prison for a rape he didn’t commit, a prosecutor said recently in announcing that he will ask a judge to erase the conviction after a new “inescapable conclusion” about the case.

Kent County prosecutor William Forsyth said he met with Quentin Carter and apologized.

“I fully recognize, however, that neither my apology nor the setting aside of his conviction can begin to adequately compensate Mr. Carter for what he has lost,” Forsyth said in a statement. “Tragically, there is nothing that can be done to restore his youth or return to him the years he spent in prison.”

He said Carter’s innocence in the sexual assault is an “inescapable conclusion.”

Carter was nearly 17 in 1992 when he was convicted of first-degree criminal sexual conduct against a 10-year-old neighbor girl. He served almost 17 years in prison before he was released on parole.

His stay behind bars likely was extended long beyond the minimum sentence because he refused to admit guilt to the parole board or participate in counseling for sex offenders.

Forsyth said investigators believe Carter was framed by Aurelias Marshall because of an unpaid debt. Marshall was living with the 10-year-old girl’s mother in the early 1990s.

“While Marshall’s actions were abhorrent and nearly impossible to comprehend, he is not the only person responsible for what happened to Mr. Carter,” Forsyth said. “In the last analysis, it was my office that charged Mr. Carter and it was my office that sought and obtained the conviction that led to his imprisonment.”

In a separate case, Marshall was convicted of first-degree murder last week in the 1990 fatal beating of a man near a Grand Rapids bar.

“I have no comment on Mr. Forsyth’s allegations other than (Carter) was convicted by a jury of his peers,” said Marshall’s attorney, Charles Clapp.