"I know he didn't do it," said Theresa Chatman, 53, who, since 2002, has only been able to see her brother, Carl Chatman, 59, when she visits him in prison. In 2004 he was found guilty for raping a woman in the Daley Center in Chicago and sentenced to 30 years in prison without parole. | Ashlee Rezin/for Sun-Times Media
Updated: October 11, 2013 6:24AM
When Carl Chatman was swept into the prison system in 2002, he was homeless.
But that doesn’t mean he didn’t have a family.
Chatman, who struggled with mental illness and alcoholism, had a sister.
Theresa Chatman, 53, never missed a court date — and never stopped believing in his innocence.
She burst into tears when she heard that her brother was going to be freed.
“I’ve written to the Illinois Prisoner Review Board. I’ve lost two jobs because I took too much time off work. I even slid down a banister trying to get to you,” said Theresa Chatman on Monday. “This has dominated my life because I know my brother didn’t rape anyone.”
During a visit at 26th and California to see her brother, Theresa said she put her right hand on the thick glass, and Carl who is left-handed, put his left hand on the glass.
“Our thumbs were touching, but the glass was between us. He swore he never touched that woman,” she said.
“I told them I am going to fight, fight, fight until they give me my brother,” she said.
“So I have been writing and calling and even wrote a letter to the State’s Attorney’s post-conviction office.
I’ve been hoping and praying that this day would come,” she said.
“It has been 11 years of that.”