Man wrongly jailed for Alice Sebold rape had no idea she made millions

EXCLUSIVE: Innocent black man, 61, who was jailed for raping author Alice Sebold after she wrongly identified him had NO idea she made millions off the story while he lived ‘in squalor’ after finishing 16-year jail sentence

  • Anthony Broadwater was convicted of raping author Alice Sebold in Syracuse, NY, in 1981 
  • He spent 16 years in prison, always maintaining his innocence, and was released in 1998
  • The violent rape was the underpinning of Sebold’s 1999 memoir, Lucky, which sold over 1million copies 
  • She went on to have wild commercial success with The Lovely Bones which was turned into a movie
  • Now, she lives in a $6million property in San Francisco and she was working on a film adaptation of Lucky
  • On Monday, Broadwater’s conviction was thrown out after a team of lawyers revived the case and his appeal 
  • Sebold had picked a different man in a police lineup and flimsy DNA evidence used to convict was thrown out
  • Broadwater had no idea that she was a famous author or that his crime was used to inspire her memoir 
  • Now 61, has been living in a derelict apartment in Syracuse, New York, with his wife 
  • The pair never had kids because he didn’t want them to carry the stigma of his rape conviction 
  • Broadwater is now working with attorneys to prepare lawsuits against her and her publisher, Scribner 
  • The innocent black man wrongly convicted of raping The Lovely Bones author Alice Sebold in 1981 had no idea that she used the story to kickstart her literary career and has been living in ‘squalor’ since he got out of prison while she has made millions in book sales, DailyMail.com has learned exclusively.

    Anthony Broadwater, 61, was convicted of raping Sebold in 1982. He spent 16 years in prison and was released in 1998. Since then, he has lived quietly with his wife in Syracuse, New York, in a derelict apartment. 

    On Monday, his conviction was overturned after a producer working on a film adaptation of Lucky, Sebold’s memoir about the rape, hired a private investigator and attorneys to work on an appeal. 

    Sebold identified a different man as her rapist in a police lineup in 1981, but she was steered to Broadwater by the police department and prosecutors. They also used a form of hair analysis to convict Broadwater that would not have been relied on in today’s courts. 

    DailyMail.com has learned how the producer, Tim Mucciante, tracked Broadwater down after being fired from the Netflix production over a disagreement on casting. 

    When his private investigator found Broadwater earlier this year, living in a derelict apartment in Syracuse, the town where the rape happened, he was stunned to learn that Sebold had sold over 1million copies of Lucky, and gone on to make millions more through The Lovely Bones. 

    ‘He was pretty shocked. He is living, this is not an exaggeration, a very squalid existence. Alice Sebold, based on Lucky and The Lovely Bones, is living in a very, very nice home in San Francisco. 

    ‘It is not right,’ Timothy Mucciante, the producer who exposed the wrongful conviction by hiring a private investigator, told DailyMail.com on Wednesday. 

    Anthony Broadwater is pictured on the steps of his home this week, holding a newspaper about his exoneration, with producer Timothy Mucciante, who hired the lawyers who represented him in court after becoming suspicious of the case. Alice Sebold, right, identified him as her rapist in court in 1982, despite having picked another man in a police lineup. She has not commented yet on his exoneration

    Anthony Broadwater is pictured on the steps of his home this week, holding a newspaper about his exoneration, with producer Timothy Mucciante, who hired the lawyers who represented him in court after becoming suspicious of the case. Alice Sebold, right, identified him as her rapist in court in 1982, despite having picked another man in a police lineup. She has not commented yet on his exoneration 

    Anthony Broadwater has been living in this home in Syracuse, New York, since he was released from prison in 1998. He is married but he never had children because he didn't want them to bear the stigma of his rape conviction. He did not know the crime he was wrongly convicted of was what Sebold used to kickstart her career

    Anthony Broadwater has been living in this home in Syracuse, New York, since he was released from prison in 1998. He is married but he never had children because he didn’t want them to bear the stigma of his rape conviction. He did not know the crime he was wrongly convicted of was what Sebold used to kickstart her career

    Alice Sebold lives in this $6million mansion in San Francisco, center, which she bought in 2007, eight years after her memoir was published

    Alice Sebold lives in this $6million mansion in San Francisco, center, which she bought in 2007, eight years after her memoir was published 

    Lovely Bones author Alice Sebold, left, is yet to comment on the exoneration of Anthony Broadwater, pictured right in court on Monday.

    Lovely Bones author Alice Sebold, left, is yet to comment on the exoneration of Anthony Broadwater, pictured right in court on Monday.

    Lovely Bones author Alice Sebold, left, in 2018 and right, in 2002, after The Lovely Bones was published. She is yet to comment on the exoneration

    Mucciante was working on a film adaptation of Lucky for a movie that was intended for Netflix. 

    He became suspicious after going through the original book and the script, and was fired from the production when he pushed back on a suggestion to cast the rapist as a white man and not a black man. 

    After being fired, Mucciante – who previously trained as a lawyer – said he started going through the book and the original police report and finding inconsistencies. 

    He said he ‘couldn’t sleep’, so hired a private investigator to look into the conviction. He then raised money for lawyers on a GoFundMe page, and those lawyers represented Broadwater in his appeal this week. 

    He was pretty shocked… it is just not right. Alice Sebold lives in a very, very nice home based off Lucky. He lives a very squalid existence 

    He first met Broadwater at his home in Syracuse in September of this year. 

    ‘I brought a copy of the book and the screenplay and The Lovely Bones. He had very little knowledge of the book. 

    ‘In the 2000s, his wife mentioned that there was a book about it but he had no interest in reading it. It was only when I met with him in Syracuse in September [that he realized.]  

    ‘I didn’t know this when I started it but now, it makes me angry. She wouldn’t be who she is without Lucky.’ 

    Broadwater told, earlier this week, how he was a ‘pariah’ who no one would allow in their homes. He and his wife wanted to have children but decided not to, because he didn’t want the ‘stigma’ of their father’s rape conviction to ruin their lives like it had his. 

    ‘We had a big argument sometimes about kids, and I told her I could never, ever allow kids to come into this world with a stigma on my back,’ Broadwater said earlier this week. 

    ‘On my two hands, I can count the people that allowed me to grace their homes and dinners, and I don’t get past 10. 

    ‘That’s very traumatic to me.’ 

    Broadwater was convicted after Sebold identified him in court as her rapist, even though she had identified a different man, standing next to him, in a police lineup months earlier. She said that the pair were ‘identical’ and that she had chosen the wrong man in the lineup. 

    The violent rape and the prosecution of it is the inspiration for her 1999 memoir Lucky, which sold over 1million copies, where she referred to him as ‘Gregory Madison’. 

    This is the 1981 line up of black men that Alice Sebold was told to choose from. Anthony Broadwater is the second from the right, fourth along in the lineup. She picked the man next to him, who was in the fifth position, but was then told by police she had ‘failed to identify the suspect’. They were convinced it was Broadwater and she later changed her identification in court, naming him as her attacker. The man in fifth position has not been named and it’s unclear why he was in the lineup 

    Sebold wrote in Lucky how she was attacked from behind by a man in the park in Syracuse when she was a college student in 1981. She describes over several pages in graphic detail how he raped her then let her go, telling her she was a 'good girl' and apologizing for what he'd done. The book sold over 1million copies and propelled her career

    Sebold wrote in Lucky how she was attacked from behind by a man in the park in Syracuse when she was a college student in 1981. She describes over several pages in graphic detail how he raped her then let her go, telling her she was a 'good girl' and apologizing for what he'd done. The book sold over 1million copies and propelled her career

    Sebold wrote in Lucky how she was attacked from behind by a man in the park in Syracuse when she was a college student in 1981. She describes over several pages in graphic detail how he raped her then let her go, telling her she was a ‘good girl’ and apologizing for what he’d done. The book sold over 1million copies and propelled her career

    Broadwater was implicated in the case after Sebold saw him in a street in Syracuse months after her rape. She thought he was her rapist taunting her, saying: ‘Hey, don’t I know you.’ She went to the police afterwards and he was arrested. 

    ‘I PICKED THE WRONG MAN’: ALICE SEBOLD DESCRIBES PICKING DIFFERENT SUSPECT

    ‘Five black men in almost identical light blue shirts and dark blue pants walked in and assumed their places. “It’s not one, two, or three.

    ‘I stood in front of number four. He was not looking at me. While he looked toward the floor I saw his shoulders. Wide like my rapist’s, and powerful. 

    ‘The shape of his head and neck – just like my rapist’s. His build, his nose, his lips. I hugged my arms across my chest and stared.

    ‘I moved on to number five. His build was right, his height. And he was looking at me, looking right at me, as if he knew I was there. Knew who I was. The expression in his eyes told me that if we were alone, if there were no wall between us, he would call me by name and then kill me…. I approached the clipboard… I placed my X in the number five box. I had marked the wrong one,’ she wrote.  

    After the lineup, she was told by a Sergeant Lorenz, that she picked out the wrong person.

    ‘Alice, it’s my duty to inform you that you failed to pick out the suspect,’ she quoted him saying. 

    ‘He did not tell me which one was the suspect. He couldn’t. But I knew. I stated for the record that in my opinion, the men in positions four and five were almost identical.’ 

    She then described how the then Assistant District Attorney Gail Uebelhoer came into the room and said: ‘Well, we got the hair out of the bastard,’ referring to Broadwater.   

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    At trial, he testified that he was not speaking to her but to a police officer who was standing in the street, as did the police officer, but he was convicted on her identifying him as the rapist and on hair DNA analysis that is now considered ‘junk science’ by the Department of Justice. 

    He always maintained his innocence, refusing to admit to the crime even though it would have gotten him out of prison early, and spending what little money he had after his release on private polygraph tests that he hoped would let to an exoneration. He filed four appeals but all of them were dismissed. 

    ‘He was denied parole like five times because he refused to admit to it. He always maintained his innocence. That is one of the things that struck me. 

    ‘On his first parole date in 1990, they would have let him go if he’d just admitted to it but he insisted on his innocence,’ Mucciante said. 

    He said that as far as he was aware, she has not contacted Broadwater since the exoneration. She was aware of the proceedings, but is yet to make a public statement.  

    ‘I am not suggesting for a moment that she intentionally identified that the wrong man. She did the best she could as a teenage girl but regardless, I really hope she reaches out to him now,’ Mucciante told DailyMail.com on Wednesday after Broadwater had his conviction expunged.  

    Sebold has not responded to repeated requests through her agent’s office. 

    Mucciante said that through his own private investigation, he and the PI believe they know who the real rapist was and they have given the information to police. 

    Syracuse Police Department are yet to confirm whether or not they have reopened the case. 

    He said that Broadwater will likely sue the author and her publisher, Scribner. 

    ‘I’m fairly sure there will be legal action,’ he said. 

    In Lucky, Sebold describes the lineup and how she was convinced that it was the man standing in position five who had raped her because he ‘looked at’ her, though she was standing behind a glass panel and they could not see her.

    ‘Five black men in almost identical light blue shirts and dark blue pants walked in and assumed their places. “It’s not one, two, or three,” I said,’ she wrote in her memoir.

    Broadwater was standing in position four. 

    ‘I stood in front of number four. He was not looking at me. While he looked toward the floor I saw his shoulders. Wide like my rapist’s, and powerful. 

    ‘The shape of his head and neck – just like my rapist’s. His build, his nose, his lips. I hugged my arms across my chest and stared.

    ‘I moved on to number five. His build was right, his height. And he was looking at me, looking right at me, as if he knew I was there. Knew who I was. The expression in his eyes told me that if we were alone, if there were no wall between us, he would call me by name and then kill me…. I approached the clipboard… I placed my X in the number five box. I had marked the wrong one,’ she wrote. 

    Worldwide success: Sebold found literary success that most authors only dream of. She wrote Lucky, then The Lovely Bones and The Almost Moon

    Worldwide success: Sebold found literary success that most authors only dream of. She wrote Lucky, then The Lovely Bones and The Almost Moon

    Worldwide success: Sebold found literary success that most authors only dream of. She wrote Lucky, then The Lovely Bones and The Almost Moon

    Worldwide success: Sebold found literary success that most authors only dream of. She wrote Lucky, then The Lovely Bones and The Almost Moon

    The Lovely Bones was made into a Hollywood blockbuster in 2009. The film starred Saoirse Ronan, Stanley Tucci and Mark Wahlberg

    The Lovely Bones was made into a Hollywood blockbuster in 2009. The film starred Saoirse Ronan, Stanley Tucci and Mark Wahlberg 

    After the lineup, she was told by a Sergeant Lorenz, that she picked out the wrong person.

    ‘Alice, it’s my duty to inform you that you failed to pick out the suspect,’ she quoted him saying. 

    ‘He did not tell me which one was the suspect. He couldn’t. But I knew. I stated for the record that in my opinion, the men in positions four and five were almost identical.’ 

    She then described how the then Assistant District Attorney Gail Uebelhoer came into the room and said: ‘Well, we got the hair out of the bastard,’ referring to Broadwater. 

    In 2002, Sebold published The Lovely Bones – another story based around child kidnap and rape. 

    It sold over 5million copies in America alone, grossing $60million in sales, and was turned into a blockbuster Hollywood movie in 2009 starring Saoirse Ronan, Stanley Tucci and Mark Wahlberg. 

    Broadwater broke down in tears as the conviction was expunged. He is now asking for an apology from Sebold, who is yet to comment. 

    Broadwater, 61, shook with emotion, sobbing as his head fell into his hands, as the judge in Syracuse vacated his conviction at the request of prosecutors. He has asked Sebold for an apology

    Broadwater, 61, shook with emotion, sobbing as his head fell into his hands, as the judge in Syracuse vacated his conviction at the request of prosecutors. He has asked Sebold for an apology

    Broadwater, pictured in court on Monday, said he was still crying tears of joy and relief over his exoneration the next day

    Broadwater, pictured in court on Monday, said he was still crying tears of joy and relief over his exoneration the next day

    ‘I just hope and pray that maybe Ms. Sebold will come forward and say, “Hey, I made a grave mistake,” and give me an apology. I sympathize with her, but she was wrong.’ 

    Sebold wrote in Lucky of being raped as a first-year student at Syracuse in May 1981. 

    ‘This is what I remember. My lips were cut. I bit down on them when he grabbed me from behind and covered my mouth. He said these words: “I’ll kill you if you scream.” I remained motionless. “Do you understand? If you scream you’re dead.” 

    ‘I nodded my head. My arms were pinned to my sides by his right arm wrapped around me and my mouth was covered with his left.’

    She goes on to describe the rape in graphic detail, how she had to talk to the rapist to encourage him, telling him he was a ‘good man’ and how she wished it to be over. 

    She wrote how he then apologized in tears once the attack was over, and told her she was a ‘good girl’. 

    The assault allegedly took place at Syracuse University in 1982, Sebold said

    The assault allegedly took place at Syracuse University in 1982, Sebold said

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