Thomas Haynesworth exonerated - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Thomas Haynesworth exonerated

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -The Richmond man who spent nearly three decades in prison for a string of rapes has been fully exonerated.

On Tuesday, a panel of judges declared Thomas Haynesworth innocent of all charges.

During a press conference there was a standing ovation as Haynesworth took the podium.

He told the audience he's finally free.

"I'm happy.   I can go where I want to go -- no more curfew," said Haynesworth.

He spent 27 years in prison for a string of rapes in Richmond and Henrico that stem back to 1984, when Hayneswoth was a teenager.

" I never gave up hope.  I kept pushing, kept going to law library,  and pushing my case," he added. 

Haynesworth was paroled and released in March of this year after  DNA evidence implicated,  Leon Davis, who's currently serving several life sentences  for another series of rapes.

The exoneration of Haynesworth was supported by commonwealth's attorneys in Richmond and Henrico, as well as, the attorney general.

 " Thank god for this outcome.  The attorney general's  job is not to convict it's to seek justice," said Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli.

He says the system is not perfect,  then he apologized.

"I'm sorry. No one did anything intentionally wrong in this case," he added. 

This latest development means Haynesworth no longer has to register as a sex offender or report to a parole officer. His record has been expunged.

 " I got an early Christmas present.  It's a blessing," said Haynesworth.

Copyright 2011 WWBT NBC12.  All rights reserved.

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