Official exoneration for man freed last year in 1973 rape

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A legal ordeal that has dragged on for close to half a century is finally over for a man wrongfully convicted in a 1971 rape.

The advocacy group Innocence Project New Orleans said Thursday that prosecutors in Baton Rouge officially dismissed charges against Wilbert Jones in the kidnapping and rape of a nurse at Baton Rouge General Hospital.

Jones was released from the state prison at Angola last November after spending nearly 46 years behind bars. A state judge said that the case against Jones was weak and that evidence favoring his case had been withheld. Louisiana’s Supreme Court refused Monday to revive the case.

The Innocence Project said the victim had told police she was not 100 percent certain when she picked Jones from a lineup months after the crime.

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