Timothy Cole was convicted of raping the student in 1985. He was sentenced to 25 years in prison, though he always maintained his innocence. Cole died in prison in 1999. Since then, another prisoner confessed to the crime, and DNA tests have cleared Cole of the crime.
Cole's family was in an Austin courtroom with the victim of the rape, Michelle Mallin. Mallin met her real rapist, Jerry Wayne Johnson Friday as he testified in court admitting and apologizing for the rape. Cole's exoneration should pave the way for a pardon by the Governor and evenutally clear Cole's record. Cole's is the first posthumous exoneration ever in Texas.