Woman who recanted rape accusation in court on perjury charge

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by Velma Scaife, 13News

WVEC.com

Posted on November 15, 2012 at 7:37 PM

Updated Thursday, Nov 15 at 7:37 PM

HAMPTON -- The woman at the center of the case of a wrongly-convicted man was in Hampton court Thursday on a perjury charge.

Elizabeth Coast recanted her sexual assault allegation against Johnathan Montgomery.   The Daily Press reported Coast said she lied at the 2008 trial to avoid scrutiny by her parents after she was caught looking for sexually explicit websites.

"Every minute of every day was an opportunity for her come clean. Every minute of every day that our family and John had to go through this," said his father David Montgomery.

The battle wages on to win John's release. Last Friday, Circuit Judge Randolph West exonerated Montgomery and vacated the final two+ years of his sentence.

Coast told the court today that she no longer has a job as an information clerk for the Hampton Police Dept. and a public defender was assigned to her case.

A special prosecutor will be appointed to handle the trial.

Coast is due in court on November 29 for a status check.

Despite the judge's order, the 26-year-old Montgomery remains in prison, where he's spent the last four years.  His release was blocked by Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, who said the judge didn't have jurisdiction to order the move.

"In situations like this, the law prescribes that Mr. Montgomery petition the Virginia Court of Appeals for a writ of actual innocence to be released. The attorney general is investigating how he can help expedite that process," Cuccinelli's office said in a statement released this week.

 

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