A Queens man locked up for nine months on charges of attempted rape and sex abuse has been exonerated after DNA retrieved from the victim’s sweater did not match up to his, a defense attorney said.
Kenneth King, 41, was arrested last September for the attempted rape and sex abuse of a woman who was thrown over a guardrail along the Cross Island Parkway near 148th Street in Whitestone.
The early morning attack was foiled by former Marine Bryan Teichman, 31, who sprinted over to the struggle and scared off a man who was on top of the victim with his hand over her mouth. Teichman said the suspect was pushing her head into the dirt while tearing at her clothes.
King spent almost one year behind bars at Rikers Island for the crime after an eyewitness identified him in a photo lineup. But the case was strewn with deficiencies, said King’s lawyer Scott Dufault.
The perpetrator was described in police reports in March as having blue eyes and light hair with salt and pepper streaks on the top of his head and in his beard, Dufault said. But King, he said, has hazel eyes and dark brown hair.
Dufault said the eyewitness who identified King in the lineup also kept choosing another individual out of six possible suspects.
“That wasn’t too impressive as an identification,” Dufault said, adding that the victim never identified King herself.
The case against King was dismissed on July 10 after DNA test results cleared him of the crime, Dufault said.
King was released soon after, but Dufault said the wrongly accused suspect is struggling to get back to his former life after losing his job as a plumber’s assistant, a position he held for 13 years.
His grandmother also entered a nursing home during the nine months he was gone.
“That was difficult,” Dufault said. “He was her primary caregiver.”
Police said the investigation to find the perp responsible is ongoing.
The Queens District Attorney’s office said the case was sealed and did not disclose further information.