Free John Kinsel, Wrongfully Incarcerated in Louisiana for more than 25 Years

Free John Kinsel, Wrongfully Incarcerated in Louisiana for more than 25 Years

February 6, 2023
Signatures: 1,760Next Goal: 2,500
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Why this petition matters

Started by Free John

John Kinsel has spent over 26 years in prison for a crime that never happened. The alleged victim has maintained for 17 years that her original accusations against him were a fabrication.

John’s nightmare began with alarming allegations from his then girlfriend Adrienne’s daughter, Alyssa Medlin, who claimed that John had raped her while he and her mother were living together. Despite a lack of medical evidence corroborating Alyssa’s allegations, testimony from Alyssa’s family members in support of John, and a last-minute attempt from Alyssa to reveal that she was lying, John was convicted for aggravated rape of a minor, a crime that he did not commit and that never even took place. John received a life sentence without parole, and he has been sitting behind bars for over 26 years, maintaining his innocence.

In 2005, six years after the trial, Alyssa came forward with a sworn recantation, admitting that John had never raped her. Alyssa had lived with the guilt of sending an innocent man to prison for too long, she said, and she wanted to do the right thing. After a formal hearing, a trial judge ordered a new trial, but a Louisiana appellate court overturned the order, and higher courts – hiding behind procedure and legal technicalities – have continued to deny John a new and fair trial.

Today, Alyssa not only continues to maintain that her original allegations were a lie, she is fighting with her family and John’s sisters to correct this injustice and set John free.

The Case

Inconclusive Evidence

In the original trial, the State’s medical witness testified that the findings of the physical examination were just as likely to be consistent with a child that had not endured sexual assault as one who had been abused. Yet that medical witness still stated to the jury that his findings were “consistent” with sexual abuse in Alyssa’s case, while admitting a lack of confidence in his claim at trial.

More recent medical science has since emerged which confirms  the findings of the physical examination as “normal and unrelated to a child’s disclosure of sexual abuse.”

Conflicting Testimony

Alyssa testified that John first abused her while living at her grandmother’s house, though John never lived there with the family. She also testified that John abused her at her grandfather’s house, but her mom and grandfather confirmed that John never spent a night there during the alleged period of abuse.

Alyssa’s family members described their close living quarters and how difficult it would have been for John to commit the alleged crimes without anyone else noticing.

Alyssa's Recantation

In the years following the trial, Alyssa admitted to her friend, Georgette Evans, that she had lied by accusing John, and that fear of legal consequences for admitting to perjury kept her from coming forward with the truth.

At a 2006 hearing, Alyssa confirmed to a judge that John never raped her. 

Today, Alyssa is fighting for John’s freedom alongside her mother and John’s sisters.


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Signatures: 1,760Next Goal: 2,500
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