For four years, the family of a bay county man maintained his innocence of rape charges. There was always hope that Jonathan Montgomery would be cleared. Now, his accuser says he did not commit the crime. Despite that, he remains in custody demanding answers.
From the Greensville Correctional facility, a state prison south of Richmond Virginia, 26-year-old Jonathan Montgomery calls his legal turmoil, ‘garbage'. "I think it's ridiculous. I think they should let me out and let me be on my merry way and get on with my life." Montgomery says.
A seven and a half year rape sentence plagued much of his adult life. Since his Lynn Haven arrest in 2007, he's lost 130 pounds; what he didn't lose, was hope.
"We never thought like we would be vindicated like that." Misha Woodruff, Montgomery's mother says.
Jonathan's accuser, Elizabeth Coast, recently admitted to making up the story. According to the ‘Daily Press', Coast who 10 at the time, told investigators her parents caught her looking at pornographic websites. She concocted the story of prior sex abuse to explain her behavior. Montgomery who moved to the Panhandle was blamed because she didn't think police would find him. Montgomery was 14.
"She had so many opportunities to say that she was not telling the truth and she never did it." Woodruff says.
But despite being cleared by a Hampton, Virginia circuit judge, their state's attorney's office refuses to accept his release. The state attorney's office is calling this a ‘terrible tragedy.'
"Unfortunate is when you forget your car keys, or loses your car keys and you're late to work. This is shameful." Woodruff says.
A motion was filed Wednesday requesting the director of the department of corrections and the warden be held in contempt for not complying with the judge's order.
"There's a court order right here that says, my son has been declared innocent and they are in violation of that order. If you or I defied court order, you're automatically in prison." David Montgomery says.
In the meantime, this family once elated about his release, can only wait anxiously for their son to come home. The family says they are working with the commonwealth's chief public defender in the state; they will be meeting with him in Richmond on Thursday.
Montgomery's parents ask you sign two petitions for their son: