Homestead - South Dade

Prosecutors drop charges against South Miami-Dade man exonerated by DNA in rape case

STRIKING RESEMBLANCE: Miguel Macias, left, and Miguel Angel Bustos, right. Macias, 21, was exonerated in court Wednesday, April 29, 2105, after DNA evidence cleared him in the rape of a teenage girl in December outside a Redland nursery. Meanwhile, Bustos, 27, was arrested on Wednesday; Miami-Dade police say his DNA matched that at the crime scene.
STRIKING RESEMBLANCE: Miguel Macias, left, and Miguel Angel Bustos, right. Macias, 21, was exonerated in court Wednesday, April 29, 2105, after DNA evidence cleared him in the rape of a teenage girl in December outside a Redland nursery. Meanwhile, Bustos, 27, was arrested on Wednesday; Miami-Dade police say his DNA matched that at the crime scene. MIAMI-DADE CORRECTIONS

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.

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.

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