Wrongly Convicted Database Record

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Henry Cunningham

Years Imprisoned:



Child Sexual Assault


47 year

Year Convicted:


Year Cleared:


Location of Trial:



Judicially Exonerated Released

Summary of Case:

Henry Cunningham and his wife Connie Cunningham were both wrongly convicted of 23 counts of child rape, molestation, and other sex crimes. Henry pled guilty to the charges in August 1994 under the threat of being given a life sentence if he went to trial and was convicted. Henry Cunningham was represented by a public defender who did nothing to investigate his case, and thus did not learn his three child accusers had been influenced to make false accusations. He was sentenced to 47 years in prison. His confession was admitted as evidence during his wife trial and was key evidence in her conviction of 23 counts of child rape in September 1994. She was also sentenced to 47 years in prison. The Washington Court of Appeals vacated his guilty plea in 1999. After his release from prison the charges were dismissed. Henry Cunningham filed a $10 million suit against the City of Wenatchee and the State of Washington.

Conviction Caused By:

False confession to erroneous child abuse accusations by the children involved under the influence of a Wenatchee detective and Washington State Child Protective Services workers.

Innocence Proved By:

Defendant Aided By:

Compensation Awarded:

Was Perpetrator Found?

Age When Imprisoned:


Age When Released:


Information Source 1:

Wenatchee child-sex figure freed from prison, By Judd Slivka and Elaine Porterfield, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, March 6, 1999

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Information Source 2:

""The Wenatchee "Sex Rings": Part 2""

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Book About Case:

“Witch Hunt: a true story of social hysteria and abused justice,” Kathryn Lyon, Avon Books, NY, 1998

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Book About Case (2):

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Comments About Case:

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