Local News

Man convicted in 1987 Goldsboro rape case

Posted April 27, 2010 4:49 p.m. EDT
Updated April 28, 2010 7:07 a.m. EDT

— A Goldsboro man charged in a 1987 rape case for which another man was convicted of nearly two decades ago was found guilty Tuesday.

William Jackson Neal Jr., 54, was convicted of one count each of first-degree burglary, first-degree statutory sexual offense, first-degree statutory rape and indecent liberties in the rape of a 12-year-old Goldsboro girl.

The girl initially identified Dwayne Allen Dail as her attacker, and he spent 18 years in prison before DNA evidence proved he wasn't involved.

According to court records, Neal broke into the bedroom window of the victim, now 35. Weeks after the attack, she was walking with her mother when she identified Dail, then 18, as her attacker.

The victim and Dail both spoke to the judge during Neal's trial, according to Christine Mumma, executive director of the North Carolina Center on Actual Innocence.

Neal, who has a criminal record dating to 1974, was serving a maximum prison sentence of 93 months in Johnston County for a conviction on a habitual felon charge when he was indicted in the rape in May 2008.

He faces a maximum of life in prison on the rape and sexual offense charges and a minimum of 50 years for the burglary charge – the maximum penalties in place at the time the crimes occurred.

Sentencing is scheduled for Wednesday morning.