W.Va. Justices Return Child Rapist to Prison

By: West Virginia AP Email
By: West Virginia AP Email

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -- A West Virginia man freed last year after serving 15 years in prison for the rape of a 5-year-old girl is going back to prison to finish his sentence.

The state Supreme Court has unanimously reversed a decision by now-retired Putnam County circuit judge, O.C. Spaulding, who freed Joseph H. Lavigne Jr. last year after he said there had been insufficient evidence to convict.

The Charleston Gazette (http://bit.ly/UXdUD5 ) said justices on Wednesday ordered Lavigne to serve the remainder of his sentence, refusing to return the case to a lower court. They ruled on the prosecution's appeal of the 1996 sexual assault conviction.

Lavigne was sentenced to up to 50 years in prison.

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