DNA Clears North Carolina Man Who Spent 14 Years In Prison For Rape

A North Carolina man who spent 14 years in prison on charges that he raped two teenage girls has been set free after DNA evidence determined he was not the attacker.

Multiple media outlets reported that Joseph Lamont Abbitt walked out of the Forsyth County Jail on Wednesday afternoon after a judge vacated his conviction.

Abbitt was convicted in 1995 of two counts of first-degree rape, among other charges, in connection with the 1991 sexual assaults of a 16-year-old girl and her 13-year-old sister. He said outside of jail that he hoped DNA would reveal the real perpetrator.

Abbitt said he does not blame the girls for what happened and prays for them every day.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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  • by Anonymous on Sep 4, 2009 at 01:04 PM
    I question the girls?? Could they not see who raped them?? I guess I really need more facts to make a legitimate comment.
  • by jr Location: bath on Sep 3, 2009 at 10:20 AM
    if the defendant petitioned the judge for a dna test, he would have gotten one.
  • by Danny on Sep 3, 2009 at 08:20 AM
    why wasn't a dna test done prior to the trial? does this omission make the defendants attorney liable for damages? what role does the prosecuter have in a case like this? was that office more interested ina conviction, or justice? and the defendant himself...certainly he knew that a dna test would clear him. why didn't he insist on one. something is screwy here. Even if he did (and he might have) its not like he has any authority to actually make someone test the dna for his sake. Its not like he is a judge and can order it to be done. So now this crime has three victims...
  • by jr Location: bath on Sep 3, 2009 at 04:41 AM
    my post should have read 'defendant's attorney'. and i should have put a space between 'in' and 'a'
  • by crazy in nc Location: nc on Sep 3, 2009 at 04:23 AM
    I hope you can move on but i would make nc pay for what they did your name may never be the same make the county who done this to you and others pay
  • by jr Location: bath on Sep 2, 2009 at 11:23 PM
    why wasn't a dna test done prior to the trial? does this omission make the defendants attorney liable for damages? what role does the prosecuter have in a case like this? was that office more interested ina conviction, or justice? and the defendant himself...certainly he knew that a dna test would clear him. why didn't he insist on one. something is screwy here.
  • by Amazed Location: Washington on Sep 2, 2009 at 07:59 PM
    I pray for your new life and I hope the real criminals are caught and put behind bars. Good luck
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