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Rape conviction overturned after man spends decades in prison

CHICAGO, Dec. 10 (UPI) -- The conviction of a Chicago man who says he was beaten into a rape confession was overturned Tuesday by a Cook County, Ill., judge.

Stanley Wrice, 59, who spent three decades behind bars, said he was forced to confess to a gang rape by detectives under orders from a police commander, Jon Burge, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

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Judge Richard Walsh said the allegations against the detectives were unrebutted, including taking orders from the Area 2 commander, including an allegation they beat Wrice and Bobbie Joe Williams. Williams later testified against Wrice at trial.

Wrice had been serving a 100-year sentence when his conviction was overturned.

"I was beaten into a false statement," Williams said, the newspaper reported. "I was scared." The detectives, John Byrne and Peter Dignan, invoked the Fifth Amendment during Monday's evidentiary hearing.

Appellate Judge Bertina Lampkin tried Wrice when she was a prosecutor, but said earlier Tuesday co-defendant Williams never told her about abuse.

As assistant special prosecutor Myles O'Rourke gave closing arguments, the judge asked Walsh rhetorically if chaining a man to a wall and using a flashlight to hit his testicles was "good clean fun."

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