HONOLULU — The Hawaii Innocence Project says a former U.S. Navy sailor’s statutory rape conviction has been overturned.
The University of Hawaii's law school, where the innocence project is located, announced Friday that a state Supreme Court ruling officially sets aside the conviction of Roynes Dural.
Project co-director Ken Lawson says Dural spent eight years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit.
Dural was charged with sex assault in 2002, accused of having sex with his ex-girlfriend's daughter.
The judges' decision further stigmatizes already discouraged survivors of military sexual assault at a time when reports of assault and harassment are on the rise, a former Air Force chief prosecutor told Military Times on Wednesday.
Officials at the innocence project say they presented evidence that convinced the Hawaii Paroling Authority to release him on early parole while his case was appealed.
Lawson says the case will go back to the trial court, where prosecutors can either dismiss it or try it again.
The Honolulu prosecuting attorney’s office didn’t immediately comment.