Ex-JUCO star Kishawn Holmes -- exonerated this week after being charged with rape -- tells TMZ Sports he was jumped by 18 men and stabbed in jail, and now that he's free, he's gunning to make the NFL.
As we previously reported, Holmes -- a star junior college running back -- was convicted of rape in 2018. But, new evidence emerged, and in December, Holmes conviction was thrown out after it was ruled he didn't get a fair trial. He was granted a new trial.
Fast forward to an L.A. courtroom Thursday ... the district attorney told the judge the state didn't wish to proceed with the case.
We're told the DA has no plans to re-file the charges.
We talked to Kishawn the day after his case was dismissed ... and he walked us through the moment he found out he was free.
"I just broke down in front of the courtroom. I just fell."
Kishawn says his time in L.A. County Jail was TERRIBLE ... where he experienced serious violence.
"I was in jail for 2 years, man. I got jumped by 18 people of a different race. Nose broken. Stitches in my eye, dislocated jaw. I got stabbed. I been in riots. I went to war. Hell and back, hell and back."
Now that he's out of jail ... and in the clear legally, Holmes says he wants to be an advocate for people falsely accused of serious crimes.
"Now I can be a voice. A voice for the wrongly accused. The voice for the females and males out there who actually had something happen to them, and they don't have a voice, and people don't want to hear them out."
Before Kishawn was locked up, he had a legit shot at playing professional football ... and, even while behind bars, he dreamed of playing ball.
"I used to be in my cell at night, like Kishawn Holmes, the 30, the 20, the 10."
He's been out of the game a few years, so it won't be easy ... but now Kishawn -- who's training every morning at 5 AM -- has a chance to make his dream a reality.