Georgia man granted new trial after more than 20 years behind bars

Sonny Bharadia

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — After more than 20 years, a Georgia man is getting a new trial after a woman was sexually assaulted when she walked in on someone burglarizing her apartment in 2001.

In 2003, Sonny Bharadia was convicted of the crime and sentenced to life in prison. He has been serving his sentence at the Phillips State Prison in Gwinnett County.

With the help of the Georgia Innocence Project, Bharadia has been fighting for his freedom.

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He says he was more than 250 miles away from Thunderbolt, Georgia, a suburb of Savannah, in Lithonia when the crime occurred.

His attorneys also told Channel 2′s Gwinnett County Bureau Chief Matt Johnson that DNA evidence tested after his conviction proves he didn’t do it.

Now, their work is moving his case forward. The Georgia Innocence Project announced Tuesday that Bharadia will receive a new trial.


The Georgia Innocence Project says they filed a writ of habeas corpus to seek a new trial in 2022 and were granted it on Tuesday.

They say the Attorney General’s office now has 30 days to decide whether or not to appeal the judge’s ruling. If they choose not to appeal, it will go back to Chatham County, where the District Attorney will have to decide whether or not to continue pursuing charges against Bharadia.

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