Petition claims DNA proves VB man did not rape girl

Darnell Phillips.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – A Virginia Beach man fighting a rape conviction from 1990 is getting some help. A petition filed with the Virginia Supreme Court claims DNA proves he didn’t do it.

Darnell Phillips was sentenced to 100 years in prison for allegedly raping a 10-year-old girl in Virginia Beach.

The Innocence Project at the University of Virginia School of Law took on his case and recently filed a petition for writ of actual innocence on his behalf. It states the DNA testing completed in August did not match Phillips’. The Innocence Project says the only evidence against Phillips is a hair found at the crime scene that was believed to be Phillips’, although DNA testing completed in 2001 proved the hair did not belong to him.

10 On Your Side was in the courtroom in September when attorneys attempted get the Commonwealth’s Attorney and Virginia Beach Police to turn over Phillips’ case files that could potentially list other suspects to which they could compare the DNA. The judge denied their motion for discovery.

The Virginia Attorney General’s Office will respond to the petition. Stay with WAVY News 10 for updates on this case.