It was late one morning in December 1982 when a Baton Rouge housewife saw someone approaching her home in the city’s Hundred Oaks neighborhood. She opened the door a crack, unsure if it was a carpenter or plumber returning from their lunch break.The woman realized almost immediately that it was neither, but instead a man who had knocked on her door weeks earlier asking for directions. Suddenly the intruder overpowered her and ordered her upstairs, where he held her at knifepoint and raped her repeatedly, then stabbed her twice and escaped after the victim’s friend walked in on the horrific scene.

The days and months that followed would have unexpected and irreversible consequences not only for the victim herself but also for Archie Charles Williams, who was exonerated last week after spending almost four decades in prison for the brutal attack that occurred that morning — a crime Williams did not commit.

His 1983 conviction — based almost solely on the victim’s positive identification of him in a photo lineup — allowed the real rapist to spend the next several years continuing to terrorize women across Baton Rouge.

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