(CBS) — A 54-year-old man who spent more than 20 years in prison on a Lake County rape conviction has now been cleared of those charges at the courthouse in Waukegan.

The rape charges against William Carini have been dropped.

Charges from the early ’90s – that he raped a woman in her car near Gurnee.

Lake County State’s Attorney Michael Nerheim — who was not in office when Carini was convicted — says the forensic evidence does not match Carini.

Carini’s mother, 73-year-old Ruthe Wille, has been fighting for years to show that her son is innocent.

“It was like it was unbelievable – until I had that paper in my hand that said he was totally discharged and not guilty.”

But Carini is not free.

He is still in prison for two Cook County murders in the 1980s – and his mother says she is very hopeful Cook County will also determine her son is not guilty.


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