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Inmate Convicted In Courthouse Rape Case To Be Freed

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(CBS) – A man locked up for raping a woman at the Daley Center more than a decade ago may be free in a matter of hours.

Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez confirms the case against inmate Carl Chatman is about to be dismissed and Chatman set free.

It’s been a decade-long battle for Chatman’s family and his attorneys.

Suddenly, it appears Chatman will be released from prison Tuesday.

“You just don’t know what kind of present they have given me today,” Theresa Chatman tells CBS 2’s Dana Kozlov.

She’s overjoyed but not surprised the rape conviction against her brother is being tossed.

Chatman was convicted of raping a woman inside the Daley Center in 2002. His accuser, an employee there, told police she walked into a courtroom on the 21st floor around 7:30 in the morning when a homeless man attacked.

She described Chatman and he was arrested a short time later nearby.

The problem, says Chatman’s attorney, is Chatman never committed a crime.  Only after the accuser filed a civil lawsuit did her story begin to unravel. The woman made an identical accusation 20 years earlier, the attorney says.

Also, there was also no physical evidence. A deputy, sleeping in an adjacent room at the time, never heard any screams. And if the Daley Center was locked down in the morning, how did Chatman get out?

Alvarez has scheduled a news conference for Tuesday.

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