March 16, 2014
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.