Va. Supreme Court clears Bennett Barbour of 1978 rape



By: Frank Green | Richmond Times-Dispatch
Published: May 25, 2012


The Virginia Supreme Court on Thursday cleared the name of a Charles City County man wrongly convicted of a 1978 rape in Williamsburg.

The justices granted a writ of actual innocence to Bennett S. Barbour, 56, convicted of the Feb. 7, 1978, rape of a 19-year-old College of William and Mary student who mistakenly identified him as her attacker.

DNA testing in 2010 failed to identify Barbour’s DNA in semen left at the scene of the attack in an off-campus apartment but implicated James Moses Glass Jr., a convicted rapist who will be tried in August for the 34-year-old crime.

Barbour’s lawyers, Matthew Engle and Deirdre Enright of the Innocence Project Clinic at the University of Virginia School of Law, along with the Virginia Attorney General’s Office, asked the court to grant the writ based on the new DNA evidence.

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