When Anthony Alliano walked into court Monday, his fight was over.
The man who confessed to raping seven women said he no longer wanted to take back his confession.
Alliano had been sentenced to 178 years in prison, but then said his lawyer, Blake Ballin, coerced his confession and didn’t thoroughly investigate his case.
Alliano’s new attorney, Andrew Plunk looked into the claims and said they fell short.
“Mr. Ballin effectively represented Mr. Alliano. I had to make sure and look over each detail, but we came to the conclusion he was in fact effective even though it was a long sentence,” said Plunk.
Alliano accepted his 178 year sentence, one the judge said would likely have been much longer had he gone to trial.
Ballin says he doesn’t fault Alliano for having second thoughts.
“People get out to the penitentiary. They have made these decisions and realize, look, I am not gonna get out of prison ever. You become desperate and think, hey, what else is there I can do,” Ballin said.
Prosecutor Jennifer Nichols says defendants who take a plea have a year to file a motion to change.
“We do sort of wait for this year to pass to see whether or not they are gonna file one. He did. Now it’s withdrawn. Now it’s over,” Nichols said
Judge Lee Coffee says the law allowing these cases back in court needs to change, and he will encourage the legislature to change laws allowing defendants who voluntarily confess to later come back and claim ineffective counsel.
Last month, Alliano filed a petition seeking a trial saying his attorney Ballin led him to believe he was going to trial, but then said it would be in his best interest to plead guilty.
Alliano pleaded guilty to one count of rape of child, five counts of criminal attempted aggravated rape, five counts of sexual battery, seven counts of aggravated rape, three counts of aggravated robbery and five counts of aggravated burglary.
There are at least seven victims, several of whom testified during the sentencing.
Three of the victims are suing the City of Memphis and several other agencies due to the fact thousands of rape kits were not tested, at least one of which they say could have put Alliano behind bars years earlier.
After his plea, Alliano was sentenced to a 178 years in prison.
At the time, Alliano wrote, “I believe if I had proceeded to trial, the state would have offered me a much better plea agreement. My attorney reassured me that he would be able to beat the majority of charges if we proceeded to trial.”
Meghan Ybos is one of those suing after she was raped by Alliano.
“I said, ‘Can you please check on my case, it’s been a cold case, let’s see if it matches,’” Meaghan said “Then I found out the DNA had not been tested.”
Rachel Johnson shared her story with us in September, 2012, “I felt the weight of a person on my back,” she said. “I turned around and I just saw a black mask.”
Alliano held her at knife point, tied her hands behind her back, blindfolded her and forced her up the stairs.
He took her to a bedroom closet where he raped her twice.
“He ended up leaving a lot of DNA. So once that happened I said I know he is going to kill me because somebody doesn`t leave DNA ,” she said.
Despite enduring an agonizing physical attack, Rachel stayed strong, “You could either die trying to fight or you can try to deal with what you have to deal with and try to outsmart him.”
She tried befriending her rapist.
“He said since you have been so good, I’m not going to kill you,” she said.
But the rape wasn’t the only crime committed that day.
Her alleged rapist also stole her credit card.
Police say surveillance pictures captured him using it at a nearby store.