Local News

Man indicted in 1987 Goldsboro rape case

Posted May 5, 2008

— A Wayne County grand jury indicted a man in connection with a rape case in which a second man spent 18 years in prison before DNA evidence cleared him.

William Jackson Neal Jr. was indicted on one count each of first-degree burglary, first-degree statutory sexual offense, first-degree statutory rape and indecent liberties in the 1987 rape of a 12-year-old Goldsboro girl.

The girl initially identified Dwayne Allen Dail as her attacker, and hair found at the scene was similar to his. DNA evidence found on a fragment of the girl's nightgown years after the trial, however, proved Dail wasn't involved in the attack.

Dail, 39, was released from prison in August.

In a phone interview from his home in Florida, he said the news is "a huge relief" and something he's been waiting for a long time.

"Nothing can undo what William Neal had done," he said. "But at least we can make sure that he is not able to ever victimize anyone else."

Neal, 52, is serving a maximum prison sentence of 93 months in Johnston County for a conviction on a habitual felon charge. He has a criminal record dating to 1974, with convictions including felony breaking and entering and forgery.

He was being held under a $1 million bond on the latest charges.

If convicted, Neal faces a maximum of life in prison on the rape and sexual offense charges and 50 years to life for the burglary charge, the maximum penalties in place at the time the crimes occurred.

Dail said he plans to be at every day of Neal's trial and that, through his attorney, has already requested to speak at Neal's sentencing, if he is convicted.


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  • Vietnam Vet May 6, 2008

    I'm a little curious... Is there no such thing as a statute of limitations any more? This attack happened 21 years ago? I would think that any statute of limitations would have expired long ago.

  • bosoxbaby May 6, 2008

    "Lack of DNA does not prove Dail was not involved in the attack. It only proves he left no DNA that was recovered." -- bushretard.

    He's always professed his innocence and if you actually knew the man you'd know that he would never do anything like that to anyone and especially a 12 year old child.

  • Strong31 May 5, 2008

    I am shocked how a lot of people on this posting can still fault a young lady who was 12-years-old at the time of this attack. I mean she was 12, think about that? I have a 12-year-old and honestly if anything like that ever happened to her I know she would be traumatized and possibly could "mistakenly" point out the wrong man. This lady probably is riddled with guilt that the wrong man was put in jail, but in her mind at the time she had picked out the right man. I mean if Mr. Dail can forgive her, why can't some of you? And also for those of you who say these two men look nothing alike, well duh, it is 20 years later, people do change! It is just so sad the lack of compassion people have towards rape victims, especially when the victim was 12 years old!

  • La_Grange_Dude May 5, 2008

    His attorney was Shelby Benton of Goldsboro, just in case you ever need a good attorney on your side.

  • DeathRow-IFeelYourPain-NOT May 5, 2008

    Conservative: "Hopefully the right person has been indicted!"

    Without doubt, this time! DNA wasn't available or reliable in 1987. Today, its not 100% failsafe. But its probably 99.9something% accurate today. This arrest was based on DNA. The first was NOT. In past decades, you could convict on circumstantial evidence or in a he said/she said. Today, the evidence almost has to make it an open and shut case. This is why I am 100% behind the Death Penalty today! Not in this specific case. But when a murder is committed, I have no problem with the Death Penalty being sought. The courts today almost require a clean sweep case to execute someone. That wasn't the case in the past. Which is why liberal groups can complain when someone is found innocent after serving time. But if you are convicted today and sentenced to Death, you most certainly deserve DEATH!

  • commonsensical May 5, 2008

    rainy, this is 18 years later.. of course they look nothing alike NOW!

  • Dil May 5, 2008

    umm..if they put them to death, doesn't that mean the state would have executed an innocent man if they had done what you said should be done to Dail??

  • rainy39 May 5, 2008

    I agree. These 2 look nothing alike. IMO anyone incarcerated for sexual assaults, especially those on children should be put to death as they are not beneficial to society.

  • ifcdirector May 5, 2008

    I love how WRAL will always post the photo of a wrongly incarcerated man but not any other "victim". I guess that term all depends on your point of view of what constitutes victimization.

  • doubletrouble May 5, 2008

    I don't understand why WRAL hasn't interviewed the young lady who pointed him out as the attacker, but I quess in a rape case, the victim reserves that right. Did she pick him out of a line up? The two look nothing alike, even if it has been this many years later. So many unanswered questions.