Convicted sex offender maintains innocence, is set free
PUTNAM COUNTY, WV (WCHS/WVAH) —
Joseph Lavigne walked free from a West Virginia prison for the first time since 2013.
In total, he's spent 20 years in jail convicted of raping his five-year-old daughter in 1996.
"The fact that I've maintained my innocence has actually helped me," he said after leaving a meeting with his newly appointed parole officer.
Lavigne's case hasn't been cut and dry, in fact, it’s been just the opposite.
A Putnam County Judge overturned his case in 2011 naming him not guilty and setting him free.
A year and a half later the state supreme court sent him back to jail because of an appeal from Putnam prosecutors.
Lavigne's sister Laurel Haught described sending him back to jail before Christmas.
"We had to do family pictures in front of the court house, and smile pretty before going to prison,"
The victim Katie has gone on record saying her dad is innocent, and Lavigne has been represented by the national innocence project.
"I will be fully exonerated," Lavigne said.