Date of Conviction: September 1st, 1999
Charge: Aggravated sexual assault of a minor
Length of Trial: Only two days
Conviction: 10-2 jury verdict, unconstitutional according to the US Supreme Court*
Sentence: Life in prison without the possibility of parole
*Louisiana was the only state that still allowed non-unanimous jury verdicts before the Supreme Court ruled them unconstitutional. Louisiana voters abolished them in 2022, but past verdicts are allowed to stand.
In 1996, Alyssa alleged that John Kinsel, her mother’s then boyfriend, vaginally and anally raped her repeatedly between 1992 and 1995. Alyssa first told her mom. Then she told her school counselor, leading to John’s arrest.
Holes in the Case
No Corroborating Evidence
A medical examination of Alyssa found no scars, tearing, bruises, or evidence of healing from any abuse. Yet at trial, the State’s doctor told the jury that his findings were “consistent” with sexual assault. Even though he admitted that his findings were far from proving sexual assault, he chose to testify that he thought they suggested sexual assault. That testimony was false even according to peer-reviewed medical journals in 1999.
John Kinsel was prevented from calling a medical doctor to testify to that fact because he was unable to pay the expert’s fee. The State refused to do so on his behalf.
In the years since John’s trial, medical science dealing with sexual assault has progressed, confirming that the cleft found in Alyssa’s physical examination — the only findings from that report –– should have been considered “normal and unrelated to a child’s disclosure of sexual abuse.”
No Matching Testimony
Alyssa testified that John raped her in several different houses her family lived in during the alleged period of abuse.
At the house where Alyssa’s family lived in Monroe, Louisiana, John never came to the house unsupervised. During the first time the family lived in Alyssa’s grandfather’s house, John and Adrienne were not dating or living together. Adrienne and Alyssa’s grandfather confirmed that John never spent a night there during the time that Alyssa alleged the abuse.
Only a Divided Jury
The jury initially came back with a 9-3 verdict, but prosecutors begged the judge to repoll them. One juror switched their vote to 10-2. Two of the jury alternates were in tears as the jury read off their verdicts for the second time.
Two people on John’s jury knew that John was innocent. 10-2 jury verdicts are no longer allowed in the United States of America. Louisiana got rid of them in 2022. Yet John’s conviction is allowed to stand.
Why did Alyssa lie?
Hear the truth from Georgette (Alyssa’s childhood friend)’s persepctive
At trial, Alyssa’s friend testified that Alyssa wanted to ‘get rid’ of John because she didn’t like him. Alyssa’s mom and John were broken up at the time, but John was starting to call again. He was using drugs, and trying to get Alyssa’s mom to take him back.
Today, Alyssa completely regrets the lie she told as a little girl. She thought she was protecting her mom and little brother, not trying to put an innocent man behind bars.