Bennett Barbour Innocence Project

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Bennett Barbour In 1978, a man named Bennett Barbour was convicted of rape and spent 4.5 years in prison until finally proven innocent by DNA testing performed by The Virginia Department of Forensic Science’s post conviction testing project. On February 7, 1978, a student that was 19 years old, that attended William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, was raped in her fiancé’s apartment held at gunpoint. Soon after the rape happened, the victim alerted the police. When investigators arrived at the apartment, the victim described the assailant as 5’ 6” and weighed about 145 pounds. After a week had passed since the crime, the victim was shown photos that had possibly matched the description that was given to the investigators. The victim had picked the photo of Bennett Barbour then him again out of two live line-ups. The next day Barbour was arrested for rape although he had only weighed 115 pounds at the time of his arrest. Furthermore, Barbour was suffered of a brittle- bone disease and had a pin attached in his elbow at the time, which can make rape seem very unlikely. Both the hair and the blood type found on the scene did not match Barbour’s but was still being accused for the crime. Later at the trial, the evidence that was against Barbour was the eyewitness testimony of the victim. Nevertheless, Barbour did not match the initial description that the victim had told to the investigators nor did any physical evidence that could attach him to this crime. His alibi was confirmed by three witnesses at the trial taking place. Besides all of this Bennett Barbour was convicted of rape on April 14, 1978. From what the post sentence report had stated, the investigators still had their doubts about Barbour’s guilt and were still investigating. After Barbour was convicted and sentenced to 18 years in prison for rape, he was released on parole after 4.5 years in

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