Attorney General Argues for Writ of Innocence

The Virginia Attorney General has asked the Court of Appeals to exonerate a man wrongfully convicted of sexual assault, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Johnathan Montgomery spent four years in prison based solely on the testimony of his accuser, Elizabeth Paige Coast, a former neighbor who claimed Montgomery assaulted her when she was 10 and he was 14.  Four years after the conviction, Coast confessed that she lied to police, stating that she made up the story when she was 17 after her parents found her looking at internet pornography.  She was ultimately convicted of perjury and sentenced to two months in jail and a $90,000 fine.

The Times-Dispatch reports that “The Court of Appeals has never granted a writ of actual innocence on the basis of a recantation,” but the AG’s office hopes to use the weight of its office to clear Montgomery’s name.

For more on this story, see the full article here.

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