Joseph Allen back in prison on controversial conviction - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Lorain County man back in prison on controversial conviction

Joseph Allen and Nancy Smith Joseph Allen and Nancy Smith

A Lorain County man is back in prison on a controversial conviction that already had him locked up for a dozen years. 

Joseph Allen, who was convicted along with Headstart bus driver Nancy Smith of molesting children in 1994, had been free since 2009 after a judge ruled the pair did not get a fair trial.

Smith and Allen had to go to the Court of Appeals to remain free when prosecutors challenged their being freed.

To end the nightmare, Nancy Smith agreed to plead guilty and was sentenced to time served.

Joseph Allen's plea agreement calls for a sentence of 10 to 25 years.  He was given credit for time served.  The reason for the disparity is unclear as they faced identical charges. 

Allen is black, Smith is white.

The original case against them featured a police line up led by now Chief Cel Rivera where the alleged victims appeared to be coached into identifying Joseph Allen.

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