RICHMOND, Va. (AP/WAVY) - The stay on the writ of actual innocence for a Virginia man who was imprisoned on false sexual assault charges was lifted Wednesday.
The Virginia Court of Appeals officially lifted the stay, meaning Johnathan Montgomery's case to clear his name can move forward, according to Brian Gottstein with the Office of the Attorney General of Virginia.
His accuser, Elizabeth Paige Coast, pleaded guilty to perjury in May. She was sentenced last month to two months in jail for fabricating a sexual assault that led to Montgomery's conviction and 7 ½-year prison term. The two had been neighbors in Hampton.
Montgomery served four years in prison before Coast admitted her lie. He was released last year.
Montgomery was freed from prison on a conditional pardon from the governor. His writ of actual innocence was on hold at the Virginia Court of Appeals while Coast's case was pending.
Gottstein said Montgomery now has 15 days to file any additional briefs, and the state has 15 days from the date he files to respond.
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