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Wrongfully convicted man freed after nearly 25 years behind bars

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CROWN POINT, Ind. --  Darryl Pinkins walked out of the Lake County, Ind. jail a free man today for the first time in more than two decades.

He was greeted by friends and family -- including his mother, who said she prayed for him every night.

In 1991, Pinkins was convicted of raping a Hammond, Ind. woman. She identified him as the attacker at trial.

But Pinkins always maintained his innocence, sticking by his story that he was at home in bed with his wife when the attack happened.

The Indiana Innocence Project worked on his case for more than a decade. The breakthrough happened because of new technology.

A new method of DNA analysis called "True Allele" allows scientists to separate several different sources of DNA.

That new DNA evidence finally proved Pinkins' innocence, showing conclusively that his DNA was not found on the victim.

Pinkins said he always held out hope that the truth would come out. He said he was thankful and not bitter over his wrongful conviction.

His family said the first place they're going is to church, and then they're having a family cookout.