Petition filed with governor to pardon innocent man

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by 13News

WVEC.com

Posted on November 20, 2012 at 6:44 PM

Updated Tuesday, Nov 20 at 7:03 PM

JARRATT--The Innocence Project Group has filed a petition with the governor's office for a conditional pardon for Johnathon Montgomery.

Montgomery is the Hampton man who has been locked up for four years for a rape he didn't commit.

Montgomery's accuser, 22-year-old Elizabeth Paige Coast, recently admittedd she lied.

Lawyers with the Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project based in Washington DC have filed a request for a conditional pardon for Montgomery to be released from prison, while other legal issues are handled.

Governor Bob Mcdonnell's office is now reviewing the petition. If the governor approves it , Montgomery could get his freedom while a petition for a writ of actual innocence is filed with the Virginia Court of Appeals.

Last week in Hampton, Coast had her first court appearance on a perjury charge, for the lie she allegedly told that put Montgomery in prison.

At the age of 17 she accused him of sexually assaulting her when she was 10 and he 14. That was the story she made up when her parents caught her looking at sexually explicit websites on the internet.

She reportedly picked Montgomery for the lie because he and his family had moved away.

There's no word on when Montgomery might be released from the Greensville Correctional Center.

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