Dental Tray

(Photo - Jon Tyson on Unsplash)

A San Jose man who spent almost two decades in prison for a crime he didn’t commit received free dentistry from the Pleasanton Ridge Dental Group last weekend for Smile Generation Service Day.

The annual national day of service is sponsored by Smile Generation, an online referral service for dental patients.

Lionel Rubalcava, who received the donated dental services, was 23 in 2002, when he was accused of a drive-by shooting that left the victim paralyzed. He was convicted of attempted murder based on two eyewitness identifications, despite having an alibi, and sentenced to 31 years to life in prison.

The eyewitness identifications later came into question, with one witness recanting his testimony. In 2009, the Northern California Innocent Project took on Rubalcava’s case, and 10 years later, with the support of the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s office, he was declared innocent by the Santa Clara County Superior Court.

His dentistry and oral health care were performed by associate dentist Harpriya Bal and her team.