Man exonerated after 35 years for crime he did not commit

Rafael Ruiz was convicted of sexual assault in East Harlem in 1985.
2:32 | 01/28/20

Coming up in the next {{countdown}} {{countdownlbl}}

Coming up next:



Skip to this video now

Now Playing:


Related Extras
Related Videos
Video Transcript
Transcript for Man exonerated after 35 years for crime he did not commit
A man exonerated for a crime he did not commit rough play a rule as has waited more than 35 years to clear is named. This after a court convicted him of sexual assault and east hall on the back in 1985. Today. The new York State Supreme Court reversed that decision after seeing newly discovered evidence. Eyewitness News reporter Mike Morris a live outside the court lawmen had with the very latest Mike. What a morning David. The prosecutor's job is not only to see convictions but to seek justice they applauded today's decision in the wake of this newly discovered DNA evidence but for this defendant. Today has been a long long time coming. Rafael Ruiz has been waiting 36 years for this moment. Thought this family packing a courtroom that's been the setting for their nightmares today. They witnessed their dreams come true posting Lamar treated horse almost and he if that's okay and hopefully have. A could reach those who might help me a judge cleared Ruiz is record family members sticking by his side the whole time overcome with emotion now I couldn't. So the world that my bribe it's not charged or the crimes that Joseph people say he was. And he's free and no I can pick up my piece is what's left. Sixty when his though and nibble my brother. And do is move forward from this point aren't. Ruiz served 25 years in prison for a sexual assault in 1984. At that he did not commit prosecutors offering a plea deals along the way one year three years five years but he refused. He served his full 25 year sentence and was released a 29 the innocence project has worked to wipe his record tracking down the DNA can't. That eventually cleared him. Of the crime one thing that is just so. Shocking is how like exhausting it difficult it is to get an innocent person out of prison and how in the second and as a person can be convicted. And what really motivated us was rough idea of now he's excited to entered his next chapter. And has big plans for what's next to me I guess number. Dollar for white who give mad hatter case. Good before all of that the next chapter does begin today I see what are you gonna do today he said. Walk around take a walk in New York in the city that I Lott Natalie with that clean punches that clear touches he's held for more than. For decades but he said also with a clean slate. In lower Manhattan Mike barz a channel seven Eyewitness News.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

{"duration":"2:32","description":"Rafael Ruiz was convicted of sexual assault in East Harlem in 1985. ","mediaType":"default","section":"ABCNews/US","id":"68593576","title":"Man exonerated after 35 years for crime he did not commit","url":"/US/video/man-exonerated-35-years-crime-commit-68593576"}