Man Jailed 3+ Years for Rape. Sister-in-Law Finds Messages on Facebook That Set Him Free
The beginning of a new year offers a fresh start for new goals and dreams. For 26-year-old Danny Kay, the start of 2018 has meant freedom from prison after being falsely convicted of rape.
The casual fling with his accuser started in 2012. Kay, of Derby in England, sent his eventual accuser a Facebook message on Feb. 1, 2012, after seeing they had mutual friends.
They took a walk the first time they met in person. And at Kay’s house two weeks later, they had sex.
The fling didn’t last long after that because it seemed that communication between the two ended in late March.
By September, Kay had moved on and took a trip with his new girlfriend and her family to Spain. But when they returned, police were waiting to arrest him at the airport.
“It was mortifying being taken away by the police right in front of my girlfriend and her family,” Kay told Daily Mail.
“At first, I thought there was a problem with something in my luggage but then he said I was being arrested on suspicion of rape.”
He was confident, even during the 26 hours when he was held in custody and interrogated, that his innocence would be proven.
But instead, the very Facebook messages Kay believed would support his claim of innocence were used against him as they were presented to the jury.
The accuser had printed the conversation she had with Kay over the months they were in communication from her Facebook account.
The officer was convinced that he had made sure the woman included every message. But he had never compared her messages to Kay’s.
So in court, Kay was shocked to see that significant messages were missing. And the conversation that remained certainly was incriminating.
In the original conversation before any messages were deleted, the accuser sent Kay, “Why u ignore me??” He explained that he wasn’t ignoring her and in another message wrote, “Sorry.”
The conversation leading up to his “sorry” comment was missing, which suggested he could be apologizing for the alleged rape.
Ultimately, Kay was found guilty in 2013 and sentenced to prison for four-and-a-half years.
While imprisoned, a fellow inmate suggested Kay look at his archived messages on Facebook.
So Kay asked his sister-in-law Sarah Maddison to log into his Facebook. Within minutes, she found the messages Kay thought were lost forever and others were led to believe never existed.
England’s Court of Appeal in London determined that the Facebook account used to ultimately sentence Kay was “edited and misleading,” and overturned the conviction.
“Even now, with the conviction quashed, I still can’t believe that it took years of pain and stress for this nightmare to end,” Kay commented.
Though Kay’s release is a new start, there is no way to give the young man back the years he already spent imprisoned.
His casual fling definitely turned into a life-altering nightmare. Hopefully, the police truly learn from their review of the investigation considering it only took Maddison a minute to find evidence that would have completely changed the direction of the trial.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.