This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

LAWRENCE, Kan. — A two-day hearing began Monday morning to decide if a former University of Kansas student convicted of rape will get a new trial.

Albert Wilson was sentenced to 12 years in prison in 2019 after being convicted in the rape of a 17-year-old girl he met at a Lawrence bar in 2016.

His appeal attorneys are arguing there was lack of evidence, including DNA evidence, improper legal counsel and a biased jury, which they said led to a wrongful conviction.

The 24-year-old was represented by a court-appointed attorney during his original trial.

“What we are trying to show is his original counsel wasn’t effective. There was evidence filed, very helpful to Albert’s case. He never looked at it. There was evidence available he could have used and didn’t even request it,” said Wilson’s attorney, Michael Whalen.

Whalen said these hearings citing ineffective counsel and requesting a new trial are sometimes difficult to obtain, but the defense team was able to meet all the required criteria.

Meanwhile, the case is gaining national attention and causing a social media movement after getting support from celebrities, including Kim Kardashian-West, rapper Meek Mill and professional athletes.

Wilson’s story has been spreading on social media using the hashtag, #FreeAlbertWilson.

“It has definitely taken a toll on our family. Obviously we believe in Albert and his innocence. We have had an overwhelming amount of support,” said Wilson’s sister-in-law, Nikki Robinson. “I don’t think we could have gotten this far if it wasn’t for people pushing, sharing his story, believing in him. We are very thankful for that.”

A change.org petition has collected more than 600,000 signatures demanding the case be reviewed.

Supporters also rallied outside the courthouse during the hearing Monday morning.

“All we’re asking for is another trial and for Mr. Wilson to have another trial with effective counsel. I don’t think that’s too much to ask when it comes to justice,” Director of KC Freedom Project Latahra Smith said.

Smith said she was introduced to Wilson’s case during her investigation into former prosecutor Amy McGowen who involved in the wrongful conviction of Ricky Kidd. After 23 years in prison, Kidd was exonerated. McGowen also has several cases under review currently.

“Albert Wilson’s case involves a problematic prosecutor. It’s known, it’s widely known her misconduct — the cases of Amy McGowen,” Smith said, “because we know she has a previous history of prosecutorial misconduct in more than one case in Kansas and Missouri. To me, that alone should get Mr. Wilson a new trial.”

The new evidentiary hearing will review previously unseen surveillance video from the bar, text messages, and what the defense calls other “key” pieces of evidence in the case file.

FOX4 reached out to the prosecutor’s in this case. They did not respond to the request for comment.

The hearing will continue Tuesday morning at 9 a.m.

LATEST STORIES: