One of four Navy sailors, known as the “Norfolk Four,” who were wrongfully convicted of a 1997 rape and murder, is still fighting to have his name removed from the sex offender registry. DNA testing excluded Eric Wilson and his three co-defendants of the crime and identified the real perpetrator who has confessed and claims to have acted alone.
Then Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine freed Wilson’s co-defendants, granting them a conditional pardon in 2009. Wilson had already been released on parole. Later this week, Wilson’s attorneys will argue before a Virginia appeals court to relieve Wilson from the rigorous requirements of the sex offender registration list. The Associated Press reports:
“It’s been rough to say the least,” Wilson said in a telephone interview as he drove home from work in Jourdanton, Texas. “One of the biggest things is that I can’t adopt my son.”
He was speaking of his wife Misty’s 9-year-old child from a previous relationship. The couple also has a 4-year-old son.
Because he is on the registry, Wilson also cannot work on some jobs, including those that require a background check.