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Va. court considering exoneration bid

Tuesday - 11/19/2013, 1:45pm  ET

LARRY O'DELL
Associated Press

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- Lawyers for both the state and a man who spent four years in prison for a sexual assault he didn't commit have asked the Virginia Court of Appeals to clear his name.

A three-judge panel of the court heard Johnathan Montgomery's plea for a writ of actual innocence Tuesday. Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli joined Montgomery's lawyer, Jon Talotta, in seeking the relief. A decision could take weeks or even months.

Gov. Bob McDonnell ordered Montgomery released from prison last year, but the conviction remains even though his accuser has admitted that she lied.

Montgomery's accuser, Elizabeth Paige Coast, was sentenced in August to two months in jail for committing perjury. Coast claimed Montgomery molested her in Hampton in 2000 when she was 10 and he was 14.


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