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Man claims DNA proves innocence in 1977 rape

(AP) A Chesapeake man says he plans to ask the Supreme Court of Virginia to clear his name after DNA evidence proved he did not rape a 12-year-old girl in the 1970s.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that Roy Watford III pleaded guilty to the crime to avoid the risk of spending up to life behind bars. But the conviction impacted his life in the following decades, preventing him from getting well-paying jobs.

DNA test results released last month show that Watford’s genetic materials did not match sperm recovered from the victim or the crime scene.

The crime occurred in Portsmouth. Earlier this month, Portsmouth’s police chief and a police captain said they will not oppose Watford’s request to the court.

Watford is represented by Jon Sheldon of Fairfax.


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