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NEW Evidence Brings Rape Case Back To Court

Derek Sanders has been in prison for the past five years... but, new evidence could change that.

KOTV Crime reporter Lori Fullbright has uncovered information on what the new evidence is and what it means.

The new evidence is a lab report that says there was no semen found in the victim.

While that might sound like it could change everything in the case, prosecutors say it has nothing to do with the case. Here's why:

For the woman in this case, we'll use the fictitious name of Sue. Sue had been out listening to bands in 1994, then went to an after party where she asked a friend to take her home.

She says that friend, betrayed her trust and raped her.

"Sue," Rape survivor: "I was scared for my life. I remember looking through the blinds of his window with his hands around my neck strangling me, thinking, I already know where my burial plot is, but, are they going to find me."

She says the man held a machete to her throat and threatened her. Police say they found the machete and some of her clothes at his apartment.

A jury heard this case and found Derek Sanders guilty and sent him to prison for 20 years.

Until last week - when Tracy got this letter saying Sanders was out of prison on bond, his conviction was set aside and would be getting a new trial.

"Sue", rape survivor: "How can this be? Where is the justice in this?"

The reason for the new trial is a lab test that says there was no semen found during a rape exam of the victim.

The prosecutor didn't ask for the test results during the first trial because it wasn't in dispute who attacked her. It was a matter of her calling it rape and him saying it was consensual.

But, Sanders' attorney says knowing about the lab results could've changed the whole defense at the first trial and brings into question some of the victim's statements.

She says she told the truth the first time and she'll tell it again at the next trial.

"Sue": "It is a shock to go back to trial, but, I have no more fear."

Prosecutors are appealing the judge's decision to have a new trial. They say Sanders' conviction was already upheld on one appeal. They also say that this report was available all along and shouldn't be considered new evidence.

The judge who ordered the new trial will hold a hearing on July 30th, to check the status of the case.

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