Investigating the Perrot case


George D. Perrot, 47, listens to testimony at his evidentiary hearing Sept. 11, 2015, in Bristol Superior Court. | Photo by Debee Tlumacki, The Boston Globe

When we took on George D. Perrot’s case in October 2011, he had exhausted many avenues of appeal, and had been denied three motions he filed for a new trial.

Perrot told us he had also sent — without success — numerous requests to organizations committed to reviewing wrongful convictions, but received his first “yes” from the Schuster Institute. Since then, staff and student researchers have probed inconsistencies and problems, including faulty forensic science and lost and mismanaged evidence.

“We first learned about George Perrot’s case when a source for another story forwarded us an email he had received about George,” said Florence Graves, founding director. “He told us he had sent it to several lawyers, but hadn't heard back. Did we want to check it out?

"The allegations were so shocking that, frankly, they seemed unbelievable. Almost 30 years in prison for a rape the victim said he didn't do? George did not in any way meet the victim's description of the attacker? The first prosecutor admitted he had signed off on a fabricated confession with two forged  signatures, George’s and a police investigator's, yet this prosecutor was still practicing law in Massachusetts?

"We quickly found that all these allegations were true and that there was much more. But harder to fathom: How could the system possibly have let this happen?"