A Virginia man will soon be set free after serving 29 years in prison for an attempted rape the he did not commit.
Michael Kenneth McAlister was granted a full pardon on Wednesday from Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe. Mr McAlister was pardoned after a convicted serial rapist confessed to the crimes of which he was convicted, according to the Associated Press.
“My staff and I have carefully and thoroughly reviewed the documentation in this case and concluded that a pardon is appropriate in light of the overwhelming evidence, including a recent confession by another individual, pointing to Mr McAlister's actual innocence of the crime for which he was convicted,” Mr McAuliffe said in a written statement.
Mr McAlister was convicted in February 1986 of abduction and attempted rape after a woman was dragged at knifepoint from the laundry room of her apartment in Richmond, Virginia. The woman fought off her attacker and was able to get a brief look at his face.
The victim picked Mr McAlister out of a police photo lineup that did not include a photo of known serial rapist Norman Bruce Derr, who was in the area of the attack. Mr McAlister also was the only person in the lineup who was wearing a shirt like the one described by the victim from the day of the attack.
Derr, who is serving three life sentences in prison, is the man who confessed to the crime.
It is not immediately clear when Mr McAlister will be released from prison, as calls to the Virginia Department of Corrections were not returned.
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