A state court judge has set aside the conviction of a North Carolina man falsely jailed for 18 years in a child rape case.
Dwayne Allen Dail threw back his head and hugged his lawyer after Wayne County Superior Court Judge Jack Hooks Jr. released the
39-year-old man from custody.
District Attorney Branny Vickory says he asked that Dail be released because DNA testing excluded him as the man who raped the girl.
The exoneration follows a lengthy inquiry by the nonprofit N.C. Center for Actual Innocence.
DNA testing excluded Dail as the man who entered a Goldsboro home through a window and raped a 12-year-old girl.
Dail was sentenced to two life sentences plus 18 years in 1989 on charges of first-degree rape and other charges stemming from the
same incident. The victim identified him, and hair found at the scene was found to be microscopically consistent with his.
Dail never admitted guilt, and Vickory says a test of semen recovered from the victim's nightgown did not match his DNA.
The center started investigating the case in 2001, but was told that all evidence had been destroyed.