Author Alice Sebold issued an apology on Tuesday to Anthony Broadwater, who was recently exonerated in her 1981 rape case.
“My goal in 1982 was justice—not to perpetuate injustice,” Sebold said in her apology, which she posted to Medium. “And certainly not to forever, and irreparably, alter a young man’s life by the very crime that had altered mine.”
Broadwater was found guilty of raping Sebold and served 16 years in prison, later getting out in 1998. Sebold was 18-years-old at the time of her assault and a student at Syracuse University. She later based her 1999 memoir Lucky on the experience.
“It has taken me these past eight days to comprehend how this could have happened,” Sebold wrote. “I will continue to struggle with the role that I unwittingly played within a system that sent an innocent man to jail. I will also grapple with the fact that my rapist will, in all likelihood, never be known, may have gone on to rape other women, and certainly will never serve the time in prison that Mr. Broadwater did.”
Broadwater said he was “relieved that she has apologized,” according to a statement issued by his lawyers.
“It must have taken a lot of courage for her to do that. It’s still painful to me because I was wrongfully convicted, but this will help me in my process to come to peace with what happened,” he added in the statement.
Broadwater’s case was overturned on Nov. 22 when prosecutors combed through the case once again and saw how faulty his arrest and trial were. He will also no longer be listed as a sex offender.
Months ago, financing for the film adaptation of Lucky was pulled after executive producer Timothy Mucciante was concerned about inconsistencies between the script and Sebold’s memoir. Mucciante—who was set to finance the project through his Red Badge Films banner—took it upon himself to hire a private investigator and a legal team to reexamine Broadwater’s case.