At 1:15 AM on November 2nd, 1987, an Ada, Oklahoma woman felt a gun at the back of her head as she unlocked her door. She was robbed, burglarized, and raped by an otherwise nondescript black assailant who had a gold tooth. While filming a Crime Stoppers video about the incident, Detective Jeff Crosby approached bystander Perry Lott. Noticing his gold tooth, Perry was brought in for questioning and a line up despite his alibi. With all the other men in the line up wearing foil to simulate a gold tooth, Perry was identified as the attacker. In absence of any other evidence beyond the eyewitness identification, Mr Lott was convicted and sentenced to 300 years in prison. After 25 years of appeals and parole hearings, the Innocence Project was able to test the 1987 rape kit for Perry’s DNA, ultimately excluding him as the perpetrator.
This interview was recorded at an art gallery opening for Rob Will, another innocent man currently on death row in Texas and features Perry Lott and Eric Cullen, the private investigator who conducted the interview with the victim alongside Detective Jeff Crosby where she recanted her eyewitness identification. After 30 years in prison, Perry Lott agreed to a sentence modification in the form of time served rather than risking his fate on the Oklahoman authorities’ willingness to accept the facts in this case. He is currently on lifetime probation and fighting to clear his good name.