Vacant home rapist claims he was forced to plead guilty - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Vacant home rapist claims he was forced to plead guilty

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PHOENIX -

Dejuan Donaldson was just 18 years old when he was arrested for kidnapping and raping three young girls inside vacant homes in Phoenix. Then once behind bars, investigators say he worked with his mom to hatch a plot to torture and kill a Phoenix Police Officer.

Today, he's speaking exclusively to FOX 10 from jail.

"I would like to talk about being forced and intimidated into signing a plea agreement that I did not want to enter," he told us.

We sat down with Dejuan Donaldson for a jailhouse interview Friday afternoon. Flanked by two armed detention officers, he says he was coerced and forced to sign a plea deal that puts him behind bars for the next 50 years.

Donaldson says his attorneys told him he had to plead guilty or he would spent his whole life in prison. He now wants to go to trial and prove he's innocent.

"They trying to send me to prison for the rest of my life for crimes I didn't commit," said Donaldson.

Back in January, Donaldson pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting 3-girls in vacant homes in south Phoenix.

He also pleaded guilty to conspiring to kidnap, kill, and torture a Phoenix Police officer. Today -- he was supposed to be sentenced to 50-years in prison, but Donaldson tried to withdraw his plea.

"I felt hurt they trying to send me to prison for the rest of my life for crimes I didn't commit... deprived me of my rights."

Thursday night in jail, Donaldson wrote two motions by himself -- one to change his attorney, the other to withdraw his plea. The judge denied both.

Donaldson's sentencing, though, was moved back to April.

"I want a new attorney I want a new judge I want a new everything," said Donaldson. "I'm going to keep fighting for my life, trying to prove my innocence. Even though I was forced to sign a plea and give away my rights there's still other alternatives to prove myself [ innocent]."

Police say DNA links Donaldson to those sex assaults. He claims the DNA evidence was not handled properly.

And he refused to talk about that plot to kill an officer. When we asked him about the 10-year-old girl he allegedly sexually assaulted...

"What does that have to do with me?" he said. "I can't answer that question, I can only tell you that I'm innocent and shouldn't be here."

His new sentencing date is April 19. It's important to note, in all plea deals, defendants are asked by the judge if they were forced to plead. Back then Donaldson said no.

Defendants are also told plea agreements are binding, and Donaldson signed it anyway.

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