Angel Gonzalez
Photo courtesy of the Gonzalez family

Angel Gonzalez to walk free after DNA clears him of 1994 rape

It’s been quite a week for Angel Gonzalez.

First, after spending nearly 21 years behind bars, DNA evidence on Monday exonerated the 41-year-old of a 1994 conviction for the abduction and rape of a 35-year-old Chicago-area woman. But after his conviction was overturned, Gonzalez returned to prison where he was scheduled to spend an additional three years for a property damage conviction stemming from his destruction of a sink while being held in solitary confinement. 

Now, the Innocence Project has announced that the state of Illinois on Tuesday vacated and dismissed Gonzalez’s property damage conviction, and he is expected to be released from Dixon Correctional Facility Tuesday evening.

RELATED: DNA clears Angel Gonzalez of 1994 abduction and rape

A native of Mexico, Gonzalez’s immigration visa expired while he was in prison, leaving open the question of whether he would be deported after completing his sentence. But on Tuesday, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) indicated that Gonzalez would not face certain deportation. “The Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) placed a detainer on Angel Gonzalez on Aug. 20, 1995 at the Joliet (Illinois) Correctional Center due to his conviction for abduction and rape,” DHS’s Gail Montenegro said in a statement, adding, ”Since Mr. Gonzalez has been exonerated on all charges, ICE is exercising prosecutorial discretion and has cancelled its detainer.”

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Angel Gonzalez to walk free after DNA clears him of 1994 rape