FILE - In this June 24, 2010 file photo, deaf inmate Stephen Brodie uses sign language to answer a question through an interpreter during a jailhouse interview in Dallas.  A judge has set aside the 1993 conviction of Brodie, who was sent to prison for raping a 5-year-old girl despite an absence of physical evidence linking him to the attack.  The district attorney's office supported 39-year-old Stephen Brodie's claim of innocence during a court hearing in Dallas on Monday Sept. 27, 2010. (AP Photo/LM Otero, File)
FILE – In this June 24, 2010 file photo, deaf inmate Stephen Brodie uses sign language to answer a question through an interpreter during a jailhouse interview in Dallas. A judge has set aside the 1993 conviction of Brodie, who was sent to prison for raping a 5-year-old girl despite an absence of physical evidence linking him to the attack. The district attorney’s office supported 39-year-old Stephen Brodie’s claim of innocence during a court hearing in Dallas on Monday Sept. 27, 2010. (AP Photo/LM Otero, File)

DALLAS – A judge on Monday overturned the 1993 conviction of a deaf man who was sent to prison for raping a 5-year-old girl despite an absence of physical evidence linking him to the attack.

Stephen Brodie, 39, dropped his head in relief after an interpreter signed to him that Judge Lena Levario had set aside his conviction on the grounds of actual innocence. He then turned to face the courtroom audience, some of whom waved both hands in the air — sign language for applause.

“I feel like a burden has been lifted,” Brodie told reporters through a translator. “I feel light. I feel extremely happy.”

Read more at www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-wires/20100928/us-deaf-inmate-exoneration/

Courtesy of JEFF CARLTON, Associated Press Writer• Mon Sep 27, 2010 10:31 pm ET