NORFOLK, Va. - A man once accused of rape is free after pleading guilty to just one misdemeanor of sexual battery.
Powanzieo Griffin had been charged of the rape of one woman from 2017. He was arrested about two years after the allegations were made.
Court documents reveal there was several rape cases that were connected through DNA, but Griffin was only charged in one case.
He entered an Alford plea in court this week and his attorney Eric Korsland said if he stays out of trouble, doesn’t contact the victim or go on the dating website – Plenty of Fish – the charge will be dismissed.
Korsland said his client is absolutely innocent. He said this was an extremely stressful case because he knew his client was innocent and he was worried about the outcome. He said there was no evidence. He said Griffin cooperated with police, gave them his phone, a DNA swab and then was charged.
“It’s bittersweet. It’s sweet that he has freedom, sweet he did not admit to wrongdoing, bitter that he lost 17 months in jail during COVID-19 knowing he didn’t do anything wrong. I think that will always be with him and he will always be sore about that, but he is happy where we are right now,” said Eric Korsland, Defense Attorney.
Griffin has been released from jail.
He had previously been looking at five years to life in prison if convicted.
He was never charged in any of the other cases.