Albert Wilson was released from Douglas County Jail on March 23, following a hearing held by Judge Sally Pokorny in Lawrence, Kansas. He was greeted by friends and family following his release.
Wilson, now 24, was accused of rape in 2016 after meeting the 17-year-old at the Hawk, a bar near the University of Kansas campus in Lawrence. He was initially convicted by an all-white jury and sentenced to over 12 years in prison. The Free Albert Wilson campaign has advocated for his release on the grounds of lack of evidence, a point that was also raised during the hearing arguing for re-trial in November 2020.
During the hearing Michael Whalen, Wilson’s defence attorney requested bail conditions be the same as before his first trial with bail set at $75,000 and no GPS monitoring. The judge allowed the request while agreeing that Wilson was not a flight risk.
Douglas County District Attorney Suzanne Valdez, who is new to this case, had no objections to the decision and added that the DA’s office will be “diligent and careful.”
“We (will) attempt to resolve this short of trial,” said Valdez.
When Pokorny was considering the next hearing date, Whalen asked for enough time to meet and continue what he called “productive conversations” with Valdez.
“I think since we are attempting to resolve this in good faith if we could have 45 days, that would be better for us,” said Valdez.
Pokorny scheduled the new pretrial hearing to take place on May 13, 2021 at 3 p.m. at the Douglas County Courthouse in Lawrence, Kansas.