NEW HYDE PARK - A Queens man convicted of two sex crimes, including one in New Hyde Park, has been granted parole after an investigator raised doubts about his case.
Ron Bower says he was wrongly convicted more than 23 years ago. He has always maintained his innocence.
An investigator in the New York Attorney General's Office recently sent a letter to the parole board saying, "It's highly unlikely that Bower committed the crimes."
Bower was accused in a 1990 attack on Union Turnpike and Lakeville Road, where a woman was forced into her car and sexually assaulted at gunpoint.
The investigator noted that Bower looks a lot like another man who was arrested for committing similar sex crimes, some of which occurred after Bower was in custody. Bower's attorney says there's no doubt his arrest was a case of mistaken identity.
Bower's attorney says there are also similarities between five sex assault cases that occurred between 1990 and 1991, in which a woman had left a bar or club and was followed to another location.
Since the letter was sent, Bower was granted parole but his release date is not yet known.
Bower's daughter is fighting to have her dad's conviction exonerated.
“What’s happened to him is a huge injustice and nobody should have to go through what he’s gone through,” said Kristy Bower.
The Nassau County district attorney and the state attorney general have since sent a second letter to the parole board to re-examine its decision to release Bower.
The Nassau District Attorney’s Office says it will comprehensively review the case.