News 03.24.09

DNA Clears Virginia Man of 1984 Rape

When Thomas Haynesworth was arrested for rape in 1984, he told police that he was innocent and that he believed an acquaintance, Leon Davis, could be the perpetrator. Now, after Haynesworth has served 25 years in prison, DNA testing has implicated Davis in the crime and cleared Haynesworth, according to media reports.

Haynesworth, represented by the Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project, will not be released immediately because he is also serving for another rape he says he didn’t commit. Prosecutors involved in the other case are searching for evidence to test.

Testing in the case was conducted as part of a

state-run review of possible Virginia wrongful convictions

that was sparked after Marvin Anderson’s exoneration in 2002.

Reached last week by telephone at the Greensville Correctional Center, Haynesworth said of Davis, "I knew all along he was the man. I told my lawyer. I told [police]. He lived right down the street from me."

"I told them: 'This man fit the description.' But nobody ever listened to me," he complained. "Everybody said we looked alike. Only difference between me and him, he is taller and weighed more," said Haynesworth.

Read the full story here

. (Richmond Times-Dispatch, 03/24/09)

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