Anthony Broadwater, the man who was falsely convicted of sexually assaulting author Alice Sebold, has agreed to settle a lawsuit against the state of New York for $5.5 million, the New York Times reports.
Broadwater served 16 years in prison after being convicted of assaulting Sebold, who was raped and beaten in 1981 while a freshman at Syracuse University. Sebold did not identify Broadwater as her attacker in a police lineup but did later identify him in court.
Sebold, author of the bestselling novel The Lovely Bones, told the story of her assault in the 1999 memoir Lucky.
Broadwater was exonerated of the crime in 2021, after Tim Mucciante, who had been an executive producer on a planned Netflix film adaptation of Lucky, raised doubts about Broadwater’s guilt. Sebold apologized to Broadwater later that year, saying that she “will continue to struggle with the role that I unwittingly played within a system that sent an innocent man to jail.”
The planned adaptation of Lucky was canceled, and filmmaker Scott D. Rosenbaum announced he would be making a documentary about Broadwater, titled Unlucky.
In a statement, Broadwater thanked New York Attorney General Letitia James, saying, “I hope and pray that others in my situation can achieve the same measure of justice.”
Sebold also released a statement, the Times reports, saying, “No amount of money can erase the injustices Mr. Broadwater suffered. But the settlement now officially acknowledges them.”
Michael Schaub, a journalist and regular contributor to NPR, lives near Austin, Texas.