Albert Wilson granted retrial

Brynn Fitzsimmons

3/16/2021- Lawrence, Kansas

Supporters of Albert Wilson gather outside the Douglas County Courthouse in Lawrence, Kansas during Wilson's hearing on November 3, 2020, in which his attorney requested a retrial.

Photo by Brynn Fitzsimmons

On Tuesday, March 16, a Douglas County District Court Judge in Lawrence, Kansas ordered a retrial for Albert Wilson. The decision comes after Wilson’s attorney appeared before the same court to argue for retrial in November. Wilson, a Black man who is now 24, was convicted on one count of rape by an all-white jury in 2019, after he was accused of raping a 17-year-old girl he met at the Hawk, a bar near the University of Kansas campus, in 2016.

Wilson and his family and friends have consistently asserted his innocence, launching the Free Albert Wilson campaign, which offers a detailed timeline and other information about the case and seeks to engage the public.

Wilson’s attorney, Michael Whalen, alongside Josh Dubin of the Innocence Project, presented evidence in the hearing last fall that challenged whether Wilson’s original attorney, Forrest Lowry, had adequately considered all relevant evidence in Wilson’s case. Issues listed in the hearing included: an overstep of expert testimony in the initial trial, a failure of the alleged victim and her mother to report relevant information regarding personal and medical history, a failure to utilize sufficient expertise regarding rape kit results, and a failure to use all available surveillance footage to verify witness testimony.

A hearing on Tuesday, March 23 at 1:30 p.m. will set the date for the retrial.

Published on: 3/16/2021