County of Conviction: Los Angeles, California
Wrongful Conviction: Rape, Kidnapping
Exonerated Date: 2015
Years Served: 16
In 1999, Luis Vargas was sentenced to fifty-five years to life for three crimes he did not commit. Unbeknownst to the public at the time, a methodical serial rapist known only as the “Tear Drop Rapist” committed similar crimes. It would take fifteen years, dozens of sexual assaults, and many advances in DNA science for anyone to see Luis was not guilty. DNA test results later revealed Vargas did not commit the rape, but the Tear Drop Rapist did. On November 23, 2015, Luis Vargas was exonerated of all three sexual assaults.
Source: California Innocence Project
Read more about Luis’ story here.