Man convicted in 1993 Colquitt Co. rape case awaits retrial
MOULTRIE, Ga. (WALB) - A man who has been behind bars for 22 years, was let out on bond Thursday and is now awaiting a re-trial.
“I’m innocent. I did not commit a crime and I’ve held to that since day one,” Sedrick Moore, accused of a 1993 rape, said.
Not even an hour after being released, Sedrick Moore down with WALB News 10′s Lenah Allen about his fight to prove his innocence.
In 1993, 17-year-old Moore was named by a fellow defendant as one of three men who carried out a series of robberies in Moultrie. In one of those cases, a woman was raped. In 2003, Moore was found guilty of armed robbery, burglary, rape and several counts of possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime. He was sentenced to 50 years in prison. But now, new DNA testing excludes Moore as a match for the partial DNA profiles taken from the rape victim.
“I just would like for it to be dismissed so I can move forward with my life,” Moore said.
In May 2023, Colquitt County Superior Court Judge Brian McDaniel granted Moore a new trial. A motion for retrial, states ”had this DNA evidence been available to the defendant that it is probable that at least one reasonable juror would have had reasonable doubt about Moore’s guilt.”
But Southern Judicial Circuit District Attorney Brad Shealy says he believes there is sufficient evidence implicating Moore.
“And we also have evidence of flight on Mr. Moore as well. He fled to Philadelphia twice. So evidence of flight is admissible to show guilt,” Shealy said.
However, witness testimony that also places Moore at the scene of the crime was recanted in their testimony on the stand.
“It’s very important to me to get that off my record, because prior to that I hadn’t been in any trouble,” Moore said. “I was a young man, never been in any trouble. In this entire situation, I just want to thank God.”
Despite Moore being given several plea deals, he’s rejected them—saying it’s more important to clear his name. One co-defendant in this case has already been exonerated, while the other has already served out his time. That co-defendant got a shorter sentence in exchange for testifying against Moore. In Moore’s retrial, evidence will be reevaluated including the DNA samples that show a low probability that Moore is a match for the rape.
“We’re going to have to look at the issue of whether or not he’ll plead to another defense, or whether or not we retry because he’s already served 20 years and we have other cases to deal with. So that’s the decision we’re going to have to make,” Shealy said.
Moore stands firm that he’s innocent and says he won’t stop fighting until he’s finally free.
“My name, my reputation, everything was just tarnished from it, you know. So it’s very important to me to get that off my record,” he said.
Moore’s bond is only the beginning of what he says is his journey towards being exonerated. Oct. 2, 2023, is his first court appearance.
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