Texas man who served 5 years in sex case cleared

June 27, 2011 8:11:00 AM PDT
A 39-year-old Texas man has been declared innocent of a sexual assault for which he spent five years in prison a decade ago. Hilliard Fields of Dallas will no longer be required to register as a sex offender after Monday's ruling by state District Judge Larry Mitchell.

Fields served two five-year sentences concurrently after pleading guilty to the assault and a drug charge in 1997. Because the drug charge still stands, Fields is not eligible for state compensation as a wrongfully convicted exoneree.

The Dallas County District Attorney's Office supported Fields' claim of innocence in the assault case after the mother of the alleged victim recanted her claim that the victim described the crime in a letter. The alleged victim has always maintained that an assault never occurred.