Elizabeth Coast gets a new attorney at court hearing

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.

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Innocence Project takes on Montgomery case

Woman accused of lying in Jonathan Montgomery case appears in court

PHOTOS: Jonathan Montgomery

Attorney general’s office’s statement on Jonathan Montgomery

Innocent man finally walks free after serving years in prison

Innocent man finally walks free after serving years in jail

Innocence Watch: Gov. McDonnell answers questions about wrongly convicted man

Wrongly convicted man remains in jail after Hampton judge orders release

Innocent man stuck in prison days after judge orders release

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