How the Nightmare Began
The year was 1982 in North Dallas when three men broke into the home that was occupied by an 18 year old pregnant woman, her husband and a friend. The three men gang raped the female victim before robbing her husband and leaving.
The police were able to quickly arrest Stanley G. Bryant and once in police custody he pointed fingers and said that two other teens he called Michael and James also took part in the rape. Bryant had said that the two teens lived nearby the scene of the rape and they also lived close to each other.
James Curtis Giles was no teenager in 1982. He would have been roughly 25 years old at the very least. Regardless of that fact, police got him out of bed with his wife in the middle of the night and James Curtis Giles' nightmare began.
He proclaimed his innocence but was picked out of a lineup by the victim. He was sentenced to 30 years in prison but Mr. Giles was released on probation in 1993, will have to register as a sex offender for life and will be on parole until 2013.
The Cover Up
When District Attorney Craig Watkins became the first black district attorney and he first took office he made a pledge to free every innocent man and woman in prison. The Lawyers with the Innocence Project began to look into James Curtis Giles' case and it was not hard to see that he was innocent.
An anonymous phone call is what led the police to Stanley G. Bryant. While he gave the names of his accomplices the police looked into the wrong man.
The police should have been looking for James Earl (Quack) Giles who lived right across the street from the rape victim but they instead went 25 miles to James Curtis Giles's home and arrested him. The police now say that it was a case of mistaken identity because the names were identical. However, paperwork showed that police were aware of Quack Giles but chose to ignore him because they already had someone arrested for the crimes.
That is fair enough, but a little police leg work would have shown that Stanley G. Bryant committed crimes and his accomplices were always Michael Brown and James Earl (Quack) Giles. The police never bothered to check out the accomplices.
Now man years later paperwork shows that even prosecutors seemed to cover up their own mistakes and it is not known if they were aware that Giles was completely innocent. Prosecutors for the rape case did not turn over evidence that could have shown the jury the full story.
What was illegally suppressed from defense attorneys were the statements of Bryant in which he confessed to the crime and then identified the other rapists.
James Curtis Giles' fight is still not over though. While it seems that everything might work out in his favor, everyone is waiting for an appeals court to hand down their verdict and then Giles should be a free man. The rape victim had picked Giles out of a lineup and the entire trial rested on her eyewitness account of the crime. Now she is happy to see Giles go free because while she can still see his face clearly in her mind, she is not sure if it is because he was one of her rapists or if it was the many photos that police showed her over the length of the investigations and trials.
However, I'm wondering just how sorry everyone is about this case. I say this because they want to set him free by overturning his conviction instead of naming his innocent. What's the difference? If they let him go by declaring him innocent, Mr. Giles will have the right to claim reparations up to $500,000. By overturning rape conviction, Giles won't get a penny for losing 10 years of his life in prison and the other 14 fighting for his innocence.
James Curtis Giles is living with his wife in Lufkin and also has a job as an accountant.
As to what happened to the real criminals in this case:
DNA evidence done in the early 2000,s shows that Brown and Bryant were definitely two of the rapists and Brown also left finger prints on a telephone in the victims apartment.
James Earl Giles was in prison for assault and robbery and died there in 2000.
Stanley Bryant was in prison for assault and robbery and that is where he died of cancer in 2000.
Michael Brown was also not held accountable for his crimes because he too died in prison in 1985 while awaiting trial of yet another gang rape in East Texas.
This story could easily be made into a racial case but I do not believe it is. While James Curtis Giles was a black male what really sent him to prison was shoddy legal and police work. In the end he was arrested and convicted simply because he shared part of his name with a criminal. Giles did not match the witness description, he was older than the suspect police were looking for and he had an alibi.
This most sickening line in the story for me was this:
"Watkins, the state's (Texas) first black district attorney, took over an office with a history of racial discrimination, including a staff manual for prosecutors that described how to keep minorities off juries."
Truth In Justice