The U.S. Attorney's Office says DNA testing has revealed a man convicted of raping a woman more than 30 years ago has suffered a "terrible injustice" and his conviction should be overturned.
A motion filed in Superior Court Tuesday says not only is Kirk Odom innocent, but the DNA points to another man - a convicted sex offender.
Odom was only 18 years old when he was convicted of breaking into a woman's Capitol Hill apartment and raping her at gunpoint in 1981.
Even though he had an alibi and took the stand in his own defense, the jury didn't believe him. Instead, the 12 jurors were swayed by scientific evidence and the victim who picked the teen out of a lineup.
Odom has been out of prison for quite some time now. He is married, has children and holds down a steady job in his brother's heating and air conditioning business.
But until Tuesday, Odom was still under the watchful eye of the government - on probation, a convicted sex offender. The consequences of a wrongful conviction following him around like a debt that won't go away.
"It's been like a storm for me, a very terrible storm," said Odom in an interview with FOX 5. "Worse than the one we just had, you know, and the clouds are now clearing."
The storm for Odom began in 1981 when a police officer thought the teen looked like the composite sketch of the attacker and after the victim was shown a photo array and the 18-year-old was asked to attend a lineup.
After listening to his voice, the victim positively identified Odom as the man who broke into her apartment on 13th Street in Southeast D.C. and raped her.
"I was upset because to be falsely accused of such a crime, such crimes, it's just so painful," Odom said.
Government prosecutors also told the jury a hair found at the scene was microscopically similar to Odom's.
Prosecutors now know that is not true after the evidence, at the behest of the Public Defender Service and attorney Sandra Levick, was found in the D.C. Police evidence warehouse and tested. It was a test that excluded Kirk Odom.
"It was a very joyous moment, very joyous," he said.
The Public Defender Service began looking into hair analysis cases after Donald Gates was freed from prison in 2009 and exonerated in a rape and murder.
A few weeks ago, the murder conviction of Santae Tribble was also thrown out after DNA testing revealed the science that sent him to prison was wrong.
Believe it or not, Odom now says that he's blessed and shared what he has learned from his terrible ordeal.
"If you are innocent, maintain your innocence," said Odom. "Be patient. It may seem like a storm, but it will pass over. God is good."
And now, the rest of the story.
Additional testing done on DNA found at the crime scene has identified another person, a convicted sex offender, but the man has not been charged because the statute of limitations has run out.