FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – An inmate in Tarrant County is expected to enjoy his first taste of freedom in 24 years. DNA evidence shows that David Lee Wiggins did not commit the rape that he was convicted of more than two decades ago. Wiggins will appear before a judge on Friday, and is expected to be released.

Wiggins was sent to jail in 1989 for raping a 14-year-old girl in June 1988. The victim was sexually assaulted by an intruder who broke into her Fort Worth home and covered her face with a towel. However, she later identified Wiggins as the intruder. Throughout the years, Wiggins maintained his innocence, and even filed a motion before his trial seeking DNA testing. That motion was denied and Wiggins was found guilty, sentenced to life in prison.

The Innocence Project was given permission to investigate the crime in 2007, and DNA evidence cleared the wrongly-convicted inmate. They tested the clothes worn by the victim at the time of the attack, but found no DNA that belonged to Wiggins.

This is the second person in Tarrant County to be exonerated by DNA since 2001. To date, The Innocence Project has been able to clear 297 people of crimes that they did not commit.

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