Wrongly Convicted Database Record


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Eric Asante



Child/Minor Sexual Assault


15 years

Years Imprisoned:


Year Crime:


Year Convicted:


Year Cleared:


U.S. State or Country of Crime:


County or Region of Crime:

Northern Region

City of Crime:



Judicially Exonerated

Summary of Case:

"Eric Asante was wrongly convicted on September 5, 2005 of defiling 14-year-old Rubamatu Mohammed, who became pregnant in Tamale, Ghana. Asante was a 40-year-old teacher at the Nyorhini Presby Junior High School, where Rubamatu was a student. Asante's prosecution was based on Rubamatu's testimony that he was her baby's father. Asante's defense was he only had a professional teacher-student relationship with Rubamatu, and he never had any sexual contact with her. After his conviction in the Tamale High Court, Asante was sentenced to 15 years in prison at hard labor. Asante's appeal to Ghana's Court of Appeal was denied on October 6, 2006. In 2012 Ghana's Supreme Court granted Asante leave to appeal his conviction. His appeal claimed that inconsistencies in the prosecution's evidence failed to prove his guilt, and he requested an order for a paternity test to determine if he was the child's biological father. In 2012 the Supreme Court ordered a paternity test to be conducted on the child. The Court's order was served on Rubamatu’s aunts Juliet Tinjina and Gladys Abokokpa in Tamale, who were taking care of Rubamatu’s child. They were commanded to bring the child to the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra within eight weeks of being served with the court order. (Accra is Ghana's capital, about 270 miles south of Tamale.) The women refused to bring Rubamatu's child to Accra, even after the Northern Regional Police Commander intervened in an effort to force their compliance with the court order. After three years of non-compliance with its 2012 order, the Supreme Court issued an order on February 11, 2015 that Tinjina and Abokokpa make Rubamatu's then-10-year-old son available for a paternity test to be conducted by Ghana's Police Forensic Unit. On November 10, 2015 the results of the comparison of Asante's DNA with that of Rubamatu's son were released by the Supreme Court -- Asante was not the boy's biological father. Asante had been released in September 2015, after ten years of imprisonment, when the Supreme Court granted his release on bail for his good behavior in completing two-thirds of his sentence at the Nsawam Maximum Security Prison. Based on the exclusionary paternity test, the Supreme Court granted Asante's appeal on January 23, 2017 and ordered his acquittal and discharge from custody. The Supreme Court directed that Asante could file a claim for compensation. Asante's lawyer, Francis Xavier Sosu, told reporters that Asante would apply for 10 million Ghana Cedi (About US$2.1 million) in compensation. Asante's exoneration was the first in Ghana attributable to post-conviction DNA testing. On February 8, 2018 it was reported that Asante was seeking GH¢7.1 million cedis as compensation from the state, and that Ghana's Attorney General's Office was working on his claim."

Conviction Caused By:

Perjury by the alleged victim.

Innocence Proved By:

"Based on the exclusionary paternity test, the Supreme Court granted Asante's appeal on January 28, 2017 and ordered his acquittal and discharge from custody."

Defendant Aided By:

Human rights lawyer Francis Xavier Sosu.

Compensation Awarded:

Was Perpetrator Identified?

Age When Imprisoned:


Age When Released:





Information Source 1:

"DNA exonerates Ghanaian man jailed 15 years for defiling 14-year-old girl, By Ismail Akwei, AfricaNews.com, January 28, 2017"

Information Location 1:


Information Source 2:

"Wrongfully jailed 12-years for defilement; teacher freed after DNA test, By Fred Djabanor, Citifmonline.com (Ghana), January 26, 2017"

Information Location 2:


Information Source 3:

"DNA proves man innocent after 10 years in prison, By Staff, GhanaWeb.com, November 20, 2015"

Information Location 3:


Information Source 4:

"Teacher seeks GH¢ 7.1 million compensation over wrongful conviction, By GNA, Graphics Online, February 8, 2018"

Information Location 4:


Information Source 5:

Information Location 5:

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Innocents Database Created and Maintained by Hans Sherrer innocents@forejustice.org

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