DNA testing has proven that Thomas Haynesworth did not commit a 1984 rape for which he was convicted, according to legal papers filed in the case today by attorneys at the Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project, Hogan & Hartson LLP and the Innocence Project.
The test results exonerate Haynesworth of the rape and implicate the real perpetrator, who is serving seven life sentences for similar crimes in the same period. Haynesworth’s attorneys also requested complete reinvestigations of two more similar crimes for which Haynesworth says he was wrongfully convicted.
“There are some indications that the same serial rapist may have committed all three rapes for which Thomas Haynesworth was convicted. A thorough deconstruction and reinvestigation of both of the remaining cases could identify the perpetrator in both of them.” said Shawn Armbrust, Executive Director of the Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project, which is affiliated with American University’s Washington College of Law. “Mike Herring, the Commonwealth Attorney in Richmond, has been extremely cooperative in the case for which DNA testing was conducted. We are hopeful that both he and Henrico Commonwealth Attorney Wade Kizer will help reinvestigate both of these cases to be sure that justice is done.”
“We have handled similar cases around the country where DNA results overturning one conviction led cooperative prosecutors to fully reinvestigate other convictions and identify the actual perpetrator in multiple crimes,” said Peter Neufeld, Co-Director of the Innocence Project, which is affiliated with Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University.