Official exoneration for man freed last year in 1973 rape

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A legal ordeal that dragged on for close to half a century is officially over for a man wrongfully convicted in a 1971 rape.

The advocacy group Innocence Project New Orleans said Thursday that prosecutors in Baton Rouge officially dismissed charges against Wilbert Jones in the kidnapping and rape of a nurse at Baton Rouge General Hospital.

At age 65, Jones was released from the state prison at Angola last November after spending nearly 46 years behind bars. The release came after state District Judge Richard Anderson overturned the conviction, saying the case against Jones was weak and that evidence favoring his case had been withheld.