Hampton, Va. – Elizabeth Coast, the woman who lied about sexual abuse charges that sent Jonathan Montgomery to prison, appeared in Hampton General District Court Thursday morning.
Coast was appointed a new attorney after her former attorney removed himself from the case because of a conflict of interest.
Before the court appearance, Coast had nothing to say to NewsChannel 3 when asked about the case or if she wanted to apologize to Jonathan Montgomery.
In 2007, Coast accused Montgomery of sexually abusing her 7 years earlier, when she was 10 and he was 14.
Montgomery was convicted based chiefly on Coast’s testimony and was sentenced to 7 and a half years in prison.
In October 2012, Coast recanted, saying she made up the accusations as a way to explain being caught looking at sexually explicit websites by her parents.
Montgomery’s charges were vacated by a Hampton Circuit Court judge, but his release was blocked by the Virginia Attorney General’s Office, who said the court didn’t have jurisdiction.
NewsChannel 3 fought to get Montgomery released, traveling to Richmond and asking Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell if he would pardon Montgomery.
One day after that trip,on November 20, Governor McDonnell issued a conditional pardon and ordered Montgomery’s release from prison.
Montgomery spent Thanksgiving with his family as a free man while his process of filing a writ of actual innocence to clear his name completely continues.
Elizabeth Coast will be in court again on December 13 to set a date for a preliminary hearing.