Albert Wilson released from prison, attorneys seek to resolve case ahead of new trial

Published: Mar. 23, 2021 at 12:23 PM CDT
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LAWRENCE, Kan. (KWCH) - Supporters gathered outside the Douglas County Courthouse on Tuesday in anticipation of the release of Albert Wilson.

The Wichita native had been serving a 12-year sentence for a 2019 rape conviction. But last week, a Douglas County judge ordered a new trial in the case. She ruled that Wilson’s previous attorney did not provide effective legal representation and didn’t present evidence - in particular, more than 2,000 text messages in the victim’s phone - that had a strong likelihood of leading to a different outcome.

“It’s been a long, hard emotional fight for all parties involved and we’re grateful for the way the justice system is now working. now working,” said Josh Dubin, one of Wilson’s attorneys.

Tuesday’s hearing was meant to set the date for that new trial, but the Douglas County District Attorney said she and Wilson’s attorneys hoped to resolve the case in good faith before then.

Wilson was charged with sexual assault after a 17-year-girl said in 2016 he raped her after the two met at a bar in Lawrence. A jury convicted Wilson more than two years ago, but he has maintained his innocence in the case.

“Almost an all-white jury against this young man. There was no evidence and the only thing that there was, was a kiss. So based on that, he should not have been convicted of a charge of rape for 12 years,” said supporter Ari Davis.

Wilson’s new legal team said the support and the national attention this case has received is what made Wilson’s pretrial release possible.

“We all have to stand up for that. There’s no one that needs to be silent when someone is wrongly convicted,” said Davis.

Wilson’s pre-trial release conditions were reinstated to what they were before his conviction, which includes a $75,000 bail and ankle monitoring. Added Tuesday were the conditions that Wilson cannot post on social media or talk with media until after the case is resolved. He also cannot release the victim’s name.

The Douglas County Attorney was given 45 days to review the evidence since she did not prosecute the initial case.

Wilson is due back in court in Douglas County on May 13 at 3 p.m. for a trial setting.

A Douglas County district judge is expected to set a bond for Albert Wilson after granting him a new trial in a 2019 rape conviction.

Last week, the judge said Wilson’s trial lawyer failed to review hundreds of texts between Wilson and his accuser.

Wilson was scheduled to be transferred back from the Hutchinson Correctional Facility where he was being housed for the 1:30 p.m. hearing in Lawrence.

We expect to hear from Wilson and his lawyer once the hearing is over.

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