FREEHOLD - A New Jersey man who served four years in prison after he was convicted of a 1988 rape has been cleared by DNA evidence after fighting to have the test done to prove his innocence.
Monmouth County prosecutors said Friday that Dion Harrell, of Long Branch, was excluded as a suspect based on blood evidence.
Harrell was convicted in 1992 after a woman said he was the man who dragged her into an empty parking lot and raping her before stealing her purse.
Prosecutors had at first fought Harrell's attempts to have the blood testing, arguing that it wasn't needed since he had already been released on parole.
But Harrell insisted he wanted to clear his name and not be required to follow the state's Megan's Law provisions to register as a sex offender.