Wrongly Convicted Database Record


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Jimmy Ray Bromgard



Child/Minor Sexual Assault


40 years

Years Imprisoned:


Year Crime:


Year Convicted:


Year Cleared:


U.S. State or Country of Crime:


County or Region of Crime:


City of Crime:



Judicially Exonerated Released

Summary of Case:

"Jimmy Ray Bromgard was wrongly convicted of raping an 8-year old girl. The girl only said she was 60-65% sure Bromgard was her attacker after seeing him in a lineup, and at his trial she said when asked if he was her attacker: "I am not too sure." There were no other witnesses, and there was no physical evidence he was the attacker, except that a state lab technician testified at his trial that there was less than a 1 in 10,000 chance that pubic hairs found on the bed sheets were not Bromgard's. Bromgard protested his innocence, claiming he was home in bed at the time the attack occurred. The trial judge gaving him a harsher sentence because the then 18 year old Jimmy Bromgard was unrepentant at his sentence, continuing to proclaim his innocence. The September 2002 result of DNA tests conducted on the hair samples excluded him as the girl's attacker. Bromgard was ordered released from prison on Oct. 1, 2002. He was the 114th man exonerated by DNA testing. In 2004 Bromgard filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the State of Montana and Yellowstone County. In January 2008 the State of Montana settled their portion of the lawsuit for $3.5 million, which is the most the state has ever paid in a civil rights lawsuit. The State paid over $1.1 million defending against the suit before agreeing to a settlement. In December 2008 a US District Court judge dismissed Bromgard's civil rights lawsuit against Yellowstone County."

Conviction Caused By:

"Erroneous eyewitness identification and false testimony of the state's crime lab technician that there was a 1 in 10,000 chance that pubic hairs found in the victims' bed were not from Bromgard. The technician made up the figure out of thin air. No statistical evaluation has ever been done under those circumstances of the possible odds a particular hair could or could not be from a particular person. At trial the victim did not positively identify Bromgard, saying in fact, that "I am not too sure.""

Innocence Proved By:

Post-conviction DNA tests excluded Jimmy Ray Bromgard as the 8 year old girls attacker.

Defendant Aided By:

Innocence Project at Cardozo SL

Compensation Awarded:

"$3.5 million (State of Montana - Federal lawsuit, Jan. 2008)"

Was Perpetrator Identified?

Age When Imprisoned:


Age When Released:





Information Source 1:

""Free After 15 years," Jaci Webb and Greg Tuttle (staff), Billings Gazette, Billings, MT, Oct 2, 2002"

Information Location 1:


Information Source 2:

""15 Years After Conviction, Man Goes Free Today," Greg Tuttle (staff), Billings Gazette, Billings, MT, Oct 1, 2002"

Information Location 2:


Information Source 3:

""Ex-Crime Lab Chief Put Under Spotlight," Greg Tuttle (staff), Billings Gazette, Billings, MT, Oct 4, 2002"

Information Location 3:


Information Source 4:

"Judge clears Yellowstone County in wrongful-conviction lawsuit, Billings Gazette, December 9, 2008"

Information Location 4:


Information Source 5:

"State to pay wrongly convicted man $3.5M, By Clair Johnson, Billings Gazette, January 12, 2008"

Information Location 5:


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

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