Innocence Project Works To Clear Name Of Waukegan Man

Mar 9, 2015

Angel Gonzalez
Credit Il Dept. of Corrections

A suburban Chicago man who spent 20 years in prison for abduction and rape has been exonerated after DNA evidence indicated he was wrongfully convicted.  

Despite the decision Monday by Lake County prosecutors to drop the case against 41-year-old Angel Gonzalez of Waukegan, the man was not allowed to walk away from Dixon Correctional Center.  

Gonzalez attended the hearing in Lake County Court. But he was sent back to Dixon, where he still faces a three-year term for a late 1990's conviction of damaging state property at another prison. 

Prosecutors say they had to exonerate Gonzalez after DNA tests found the presence of bodily fluids from two men, who are unidentified.  

Gonzalez was convicted in 1994 of abducting a 35-year-old woman from her Waukegan home and raping her at another location.

The Illinois Innocence Project at the University of Illinois Springfield worked in collaboration with the Innocence Project (NY) to obtain the exoneration. 

The Illinois group was involved in another exoneration earlier this year when Chris Abernathy was released from prison.  He served 30 years.