Kidnapping Suspect Returns to CT

Another Man Had Been Wrongly Convicted of the Crime

A Virginia prison inmate has been returned to Hartford to face charges in a kidnapping and sex assault that a Connecticut man was wrongly imprisoned for.

Hartford police said Duane Foster, 47, will be in court Friday and will be charged with one count of kidnapping in the first degree. Foster also goes by Dwayne Foster, Leonard Martin and Anthony Martin.

He was arraigned in Middletown Superior Court Thursday on one count of escape in the first degree for allegedly leaving a Middletown halfway house in February 2007.

Foster lived near the location on Charter Oak Avenue in Hartford where the then-26-year-old victim was beaten, robbed, and then sexually assaulted in January 1988, police said.

Instead of arresting Foster, police arrested James Tillman, then 26, of Hartford and charged him with the crime.  It wasn't until 2006 that he was finally freed after a DNA test proved he wasn't the attacker.  The state awarded Tillman $5 million for the wrongful conviction.

After his release, police said they identified Foster as the suspect after analyzing boxes of DNA samples in the state forensics lab.
Foster has an extensive criminal record in Connecticut that dates back to 1977.  At the time police said they made the DNA link, Foster was serving time in a Virginia prison.

After being freed, Tillman said he wasn't about to cast judgment on Foster.

"I'm going to give him the benefit of the doubt because I wanted the benefit of the doubt," said Tillman in 2007.  "I was being accused ... I don't want to accuse anyone."

Foster will not be charged with the sexual assault and robbery committed in 1988 because of a five-year statute of limitations.

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