On the evening of Saturday, July 17, 1982 Tanya Savage (not the victim's real name) and Michelle Bushey met Henry (Hank) Haughton on their way from a Laundromat when Hank asked then if they wanted to go swimming the next day. They both said yes and it was agreed Hank would pick them up at Tanya’s house the next morning, Sunday July 18, 1982. The next morning Hank came by and the three of them went to a place called the Gorge where they spent all day swimming. Around 6:30 PM that evening Hank took them to McDonald’s for something to eat and then took them home; dropping off Michelle at a friend’s house, because her house had been broken into, and then proceeded to drive Tanya to her house.
Here is where Tanya and Hank's stories vary.
Tanya's version: Tanya stated Hank never took her home but drove past her house and took her to the Riverdale Drive-In Theater, where behind the movie screen he raped her multiple times during the evening and into the morning of Monday, July 19, 1982. She further stated that after the rape they went to a McDonalds drive-in window where they purchased something to eat. After leaving McDonald's they drove to a convenience store where Hank went in to purchase cigarettes, leaving Tanya in the car alone. When Hank came back to the car Tanya was gone. She had escaped and ran about 1/4 mile where she saw a man, a lawyer named Jeffrey Weisser, standing in front of his house talking to his landlord. Tanya pleaded with Weisser to get her off the street and into his house. Once inside Weisser's house she told him and his wife the whole story of the kidnap and rape. Weisser persuaded Tanya to call the police and her mother. After the police and Tanya's mother arrived at Weisser's house they went to the police station where she told the police her story. She was taken to the hospital for an examination and than took the police to the alleged crime scene where she described the alleged crime. She was taken back to the police station where she gave her statement to the police. If Tanya's story is true then a rape occurred and Hank was probably the rapist.
Hank's version: Hank stated he drove Tanya home but when they reached her house Tanya said she wanted to be taken to her aunt’s house because no one was home at her house and her mother would be over at her aunt's house. So Hank took Tanya to her aunt’s house and dropped her in front of the house at 8:30 PM; he than proceeded to go to a drive-in theater where he watched two movies. Hank arrived at his step-brother's, Ted Brooks house around 1:30 AM where his step-brother and a friend were watching television. Shortly thereafter he went to bed for the night. After he awoke he made coffee, left his step-brother’s house and went to West Springfield to talk with Tanya's mother and step-father Kenneth Bushy about sexual abuse Tanya had told him about during the drive to her aunt's house the previous evening. Hank stated once he got to Tanya’s house he found her sitting on the front steps of her house. She came up to his car and asked him not to say anything to either her mother or step-father because if he did talk with Kenny they would probably get into a fight and/or Tanya would probably be beaten by her mother. Hank asked Tanya why she had changed her mind, and she said she was scared and nervous. After leaving Tanya’s house Hank testifies they went to McDonalds on Riverdale Street for breakfast. After they left McDonalds they stopped at a Citgo Quik-Mart because Tanya had to go to the bathroom. Tanya went into the station to get the bathroom key from the cashier. After Tanya went to the bathroom and came back to the car Hank asked her if she was ready to go back home and she said not yet so they proceeded to his brother’s house. Hank parked the car in front of the Williams Spa (right near his brother’s house) and went into a store to purchase cigarettes. When he came back to the car Tanya was gone. Hank wasn't’ concerned because he thought she probably went to his brother’s house. Hank walked over to his brother’s house to see if Tanya went there but she wasn't there. Not finding her there Hank drove around lookinf dor her but did not find her. If Hank's story is true a rape may never have occurred or if one did Hank wasn't the rapist.
This is clearly a case of she said, he said. To get to the bottom of who's telling the truth we need to look at what was said at the trial and preview police reports and witness statements.
If Tanya was telling the truth why were there so many discrepancies in her testimony; discrepancies that just don't add up to a rape being committed or a rape being committed by Hank. Furthermore, why didn't the police conduct a thorough investigation gathering evidence that would have left no doubt to Hank's guilt. Instead the police botched the investigation and left much doubt to Hank's guilt. And why after the conviction did four people step forward in defense of Hank stating they did not believe he committed the rape, including the victim who later wrote a letter recanting her story.
Hank had an alibi for the time the alleged rape was committed as well as other witnesses that could have stated Hank couldn't have committed this crime. Yet his trial counsel was so ineffective that he either didn't call witnesses that could have helped Hank, didn't prepare witness properly that were called and would have been helpful to Hank, and did very poorly cross-examinng prosecution witnesses. Because of his ineffective lawyer Hank's story never really got told, and for this he was wrongfully convicted of the crime and sentenced to forty years in prison.