Trucker to be pardoned by Virginia governor

| 8/21/2002

Virginia Gov. Mark Warner will grant an unconditional pardon Wednesday to a man who served 15 years in prison for a rape he did not commit, the Washington Post reports. DNA tests last year ruled out trucker Marvin Lamont Anderson as the source of genetic evidence at the crime scene.

Anderson, who is black, was 18 when a white Hanover County, VA, woman was abducted from a wooded area and sexually assaulted by a black man. Sheriff's deputies reportedly focused on him in part because the assailant talked about having a white girlfriend and Anderson was dating a white woman.

Anderson was picked out of a lineup by the victim and subsequently convicted by an all-white jury and sentenced to 210 years in prison based on the testimony from the victim. He served 15 years before his parole in 1997 and has been a trucker since.

At an evidentiary hearing during a 1988 appeal, another man confessed to the crime. But the original judge in the case ruled that the man, who had been linked to a bicycle seen in the area the day of the crime, wasn't credible.

The pardon allows Anderson to petition the Hanover Circuit Court to remove all police and court records relating to his conviction.