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Judge orders new trial in old rape case

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A Dane County judge has tossed out the 30-year-old rape convictions of a former Wisconsin Rapids man.

Reserve Judge Daniel Moeser on Friday ordered a new trial for Richard Beranek, 58. Beranek was convicted in 1990 for the 1987 rape of a rural Stoughton woman.

The Wisconsin State Journal reports the judge found issues with hair evidence used to convict Beranek.

Moeser wrote that an FBI agent who testified as an expert witness did so in a way that would lead the jury to conclude Beranek’s hair was a statistically closer match to a hair from the crime scene than was possible with the science of the time.

The New York and Wisconsin Innocence Projects have pursued the case for Beranek.

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