Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

September 19, 2013

AG asks court to exonerate falsely accused Va. man

Associated Press

RICHMOND, Va. — Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli is asking the state Court of Appeals to exonerate a man who was imprisoned on false sexual assault charges.

Johnathan Montgomery served four years in prison before a Hampton neighbor admitted she fabricated the sexual assault accusation.

The accuser, Elizabeth Paige Coast, ultimately came forward and admitted her lie. She was sentenced to two months in jail for committing perjury.

Montgomery’s write of actual innocence has been on hold at the appeals court until Coast’s case was resolved.

Cuccinelli’s office said Thursday he has filed a brief with the court. The brief said Coast’s perjury conviction is “clear and convincing” evidence that Montgomery is innocent.

Coast had claimed that Montgomery molested her in 2000 when he was 14 and she was 10.