Man wrongly arrested for sex assault speaks out

December 9, 2011 8:19:15 PM PST
He was known as the Brooklyn groper but William Giraldo says it wasn't him.

Giraldo was captured on surveillence video as the suspect in a series of rapes.

After being jailed and sent to Rikers, DNA evidence later cleared him of the crimes.

"They ruined my life. I should have never been in jail," he said.

But his life, is in shambles.

He has no job, and money is quickly running out.

"If you google my name there's a lot of negativity."

In June Giraldo was wrongly arrested and charged in connection with the rape of a woman in Sunset Park. And police investigated whether he was tied to a series of sex assaults in Brooklyn, including a brazen attack caught on camera in Park Slope.

When investigators released video of a man in a Dunkin Donuts, Giraldo seeing himself on camera, walked in to a precinct to clear his name.

"I knew they were looking for me. Might as well go in and clear this up," he says.

And he tried without an attorney for 13 hours.

Giraldo says, "I told all of them throughout the day this was a mistake I didn't do this, I was crying throughout the day in that cell."

And numerous rounds of interrogations later he was charged, just hours before his wedding day.

"I had a small window in the cell I was in I thought I was never going to see the street again. It was terrifying."

He would spend a month and a half locked up. His then fiancee says she never lost faith.

While he was in custody, the Columbian immigrant was threatened with deportation, until the DNA cleared him and the charges went away.

But the stain of the arrest remains for now and perhaps forever.

"The least that they could do is an apology for what they have done to my life," adds Giraldo.