Men who claim innocence want victim to tell truth

February 22, 2011 4:56:25 PM PST
Four men convicted of a brutal sex crime decades ago now say they want the victim to come back to court and tell the truth. She has already been captured on audiotape clearing them, but that may not be enough.

The four went to prison decades ago claiming they were innocent and continue to say that today. Most were paroled, but forced to take sex offender counseling.

One of the men, Ricky Mimms has repeatedly refused to admit he did something he says he didn't, which means he can't continue to get counseling. And when he wouldn't confess on Tuesday, he was arrested and sent back to prison. Ironically, this happened on the same day his lawyer asked a judge to bring the alleged victim back to court to clear up a very confusing case.

Richard Haynes is married. He and his wife have six kids and eight grand kids. But he's not in any of their family photos. Haynes can't get that close to his grandchildren.

"All I say is God bless you. I love you," said Haynes.

Haynes is a convicted sex offender. He's one of four men convicted in 1985 of a brutal sex crime against a six-year-old girl.

"It's called a gang raping -- that's what they called it right here in Houston, Texas on every news channel," Haynes said.

A rape they said then, and still say now, never happened.

"I just want to get my life back," said Haynes. "For her to sit on the stand and point us out like we done it, it took everything out of me."

Haynes was sentenced to 50 years in prison. He served 18 years before being paroled. A few years later, the men started working with Houston lawyer Sean Buckley to convince the alleged victim to help clear their names.

"It's time," said Buckley.

He and private investigator Audrey Rife tracked down the alleged victim years ago.

The victim can be heard on the audiotape saying, "You have to believe me, my Daddy didn't do it."

And in an audiotaped conversation, Rife says the victim cleared all the men convicted of the crime including Haynes and the victim's father.

"It wasn't my Daddy. And can you... can you just get him out of jail. And, I'm sorry," said the victim on the audiotape.

That conversation wasn't enough to convince a judge to compel the alleged victim to come to court and retestify. So Buckley and Rife looked for more. They recently tracked down a family friend who swears the victim told her, "I know my father didn't molest me."

Another childhood friend swears in court filings she slept in the same bed with the victim that night and "never heard anyone take (her) from the bedroom."

And a former Harris County sheriff's deputy who was at the party swears, "It would make no sense for them to invite me to a party if they were planning to engage in a violent sex orgy with a child."

"It's just time to get this over with so everybody can live their life. I say, set us all free," said Rife.

On Tuesday, Buckley filed another request with a judge asking him to bring the alleged victim back to court.

"It's not anything against you. I just want you to tell the truth," said Haynes.

The District Attorney's Office is investigating the new defense allegations raised on Tuesday. If a judge decides there is enough to reopen the case, the DA's Office will then share its findings.

We did try to contact the alleged victim, but we were unsuccessful.