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AG joins effort to exonerate Montgomery

cuccinelli_ken-2010Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has joined lawyers for Johnathan Montgomery to urge a writ of actual innocence for the man who was imprisoned based on false accusations of sexual assault.

In a brief filed with the Court of Appeals of Virginia, Cuccinelli says the perjury conviction of Montgomery’s accuser establishes as “undisputed fact” that her recantation is true and her trial testimony against Montgomery was false.

The “perjury conviction not only voids her trial testimony against Montgomery, it constitutes affirmative evidence of his innocence,” wrote Assistant Attorney General Alice T. Armstrong in the state’s brief.

The court has not set a hearing on the Montgomery petition, but a Cuccinelli spokesman says the court can rule without a hearing if it chooses.

Montgomery was sentenced in 2008 to serve 7.5 years after he was convicted on the testimony of a 17-year-old girl who claimed Montgomery had assaulted her when she was only 10. Montgomery’s bid for freedom was set in motion when the accuser came forward last year to say she had lied.

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