- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 18, 2017

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (AP) - Almost 40 years after she was raped at age 12, a woman has testified that she didn’t see or hear the man who says he was wrongfully convicted of the crime.

Local news media report the victim testified Monday in a Portsmouth court that she didn’t see or hear Roy Watford III, who was sentenced to 10 years of probation for the 1977 sexual assault. Watford says he pleaded guilty to rape because his grandfather was scared he’d spend his life in prison if convicted at trial.

The hearing was ordered by Virginia’s Supreme Court after Watford’s lawyers filed a petition to in August saying DNA evidence supports his innocence.

Virginia’s Attorney General’s Office has asked the court to dismiss Watford’s petition, saying the DNA evidence is not strong enough.

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