Man says wrongful conviction in 1978 rape case ‘a nightmare’

Posted: Sep 03, 2012 10:43 PM EDT Updated: Sep 04, 2012 9:05 AM EDT

By Sarah Bloom –


Bennett Barbour was convicted in Williamsburg decades ago for the rape of a William and Mary college student at an off-campus apartment.

He served more than four years for the crime, though he proclaimed for decades he didn’t commit. Finally, the courts agree.

Recent DNA tests on the old evidence point to someone else for the crime. The state issued Barbour a Writ of Innocence in May, which basically means the state agrees that he is innocent and he has been exonerated of the crime.

Barbour has kept records of every detail of the case and every story ever reported, but he doesn’t need them for reference. He remembers every moment and every decision that made him a convicted felon and changed his life forever.

“Everything I was supposed to be a part of I couldn’t do, because they took it away from me,” said Barbour.