I have a story to tell...
September 13, 2016
BENEFITING: Innocence Project
ORGANIZER: Innocence Project
EVENT DATE: Nov 06, 2016
To my friends and family,
As most of you already know, on 4/3/2016 I was falsely
accused of domestic violence in the sexual nature. I was judged guilty until proven innocent through the media, social circles and even some family members. I sold my home to pay for attorney fees. I got suspended from work without pay. I was required to wear an electronic GPS monitor device around my ankle. There were 6 detectives that worked a total of 50 hours in less than a 24 hour time frame to charge me with 4 felony counts with one carrying a life sentence all based on false allegations. Not a single piece of evidence was collected. I was never questioned before the arrest yet they had a Judge sign off on an arrest warrant with no evidence whatsoever. They had even taken the alleged victim to the hospital and there were so visual signs of trauma per the ER doctor and nurse. Yet the following morning I was arrested at gunpoint in front of my family and neighbors. Please keep in mind this story is the short version. I can assure you the long version of this story would complicatedly amaze you. I cannot emphasize enough the emotional and financial struggle my family and I have gone through and how unbearable it was at times to say the least. However, we persevered through the grace of God along with many prayers from the many people who stood by our side. On 8/31/2016 the State Prosecutors dropped the case due to consistent inconsistent stories from the alleged victim, forensics pathology, no DNA found on her sexual assault kit, and no DNA found on the evidence that was taken after my arrest. Throughout dealing with this situation I couldn’t help but think how this could happen and what if I didn’t have the limited resources available? My house would have been foreclosed. I would have most certainly lost my job. I would not be able to bond out. I would not be able to hire an attorney. I would still be in jail all while being innocent but with a much less opportunity to prove my innocence or even possibly convicted. To my astonishment, my story is not uncommon and has become somewhat of an epidemic. Perhaps compiling convictions and maintaining good win/loss ratio has become more important than seeking true justice. I don’t know the solution but I know I won’t be part of the problem which is why I felt a sense of obligation to help others along with obtaining some sort of vindication and redemption for myself. In the past I had always heard about the Innocence Project mostly through documentaries. After further research I learned they are a non-profit organization dedicated to freeing innocent men and women through DNA testing and encouraging policy reform to prevent future wrongful convictions. Most recently, Darryl Howard was exonerated in North Carolina after serving 24 years in prison for a crime he did not commit. Think of all you’ve done in the past 24 YEARS, everything that’s happened in the world, and then imagine missing all of it and spending those years locked in prison for something you didn't do. In addition to this injustice, wrongful convictions also allow the true perpetrators to remain on the streets, free to commit more crimes. Donations to the Innocence Project allow the organization to represent clients seeking to prove their innocence, pay for DNA tests, assist exonerees with housing, job training, and medical needs as they transition back into the free world, and work toward policy changes that address the causes of wrongful conviction (like mistaken eyewitness identification, false confessions, and government misconduct).Please consider supporting me for the NYC Marathon and supporting the work of the Innocence Project. I know that times are tough right now, so I’ll truly appreciate any amount you can give – no amount is too small … or too large!
You can donate securely online here: https://www.crowdrise.com/innocenceprojectnyc2016/fundraiser/petelongueira
The race is two months away and my goal it to raise $3500.00
by then. I know not everyone can give but I hope you can also help by sharing this message with your relatives, friends, or co-workers who might care about this cause. To learn more, visit: http://www.innocenceproject.org
“Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn't.” –Mark Twain