A judge will seal the arrest record of a South Miami-Dade man who spent 32 days in jail before DNA exonerated him in the kidnapping and rape of a teen girl.
“I apologize for what happened to you, sir,” Circuit Judge Jason Bloch told Miguel Macias, 21, after prosecutors in court Wednesday dropped the felony charges against him.
Miami-Dade police detectives arrested Macias after an 18-year-old girl identified him as the man who offered her a ride in December, then raped her in a car outside a Redland nursery. The girl told detectives that she later found Macias’ photo on Facebook, and he was arrested on March 13.
Macias proclaimed his innocence, voluntarily giving a DNA sample. Though a DNA test had not been finished, the Miami-Dade state attorney’s office filed formal kidnapping and sexual battery charges on April 22.
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But defense lawyer Mark Eiglarsh showed prosecutors text messages proving Macias was with family at the time of the attack. Then, after a preliminary DNA test showed that he was not the attacker, prosecutors immediately asked Macias be released from jail last week. The charges were officially dropped Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Miami-Dade police on Wednesday arrested the man whose DNA matched that left at the scene, police said. Miguel Angel Bustos, 27, shares a first name and bears a striking resemblance to Macias.