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(WTVR) - The Virginia Court of Appeals was asked to acquit a man who served four years in prison for a sexual assault that never happened.

Johnathan Montgomery filed for a writ of actual innocence on Thursday.  Montgomery was accused of molesting a 10-year-old girl in 2000.  He was sentenced seven years in prison in 2008.

The 26-year-old was exonerated last month after his accuser, Elizabeth Paige Coast, recanted her story.  Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli blocked his release saying only an appellate court could clear Montgomery.

Montgomery spent 12 more days in jail before Governor McDonnell granted a conditional pardon.