Lavigne appeals conviction to U.S. Supreme Court
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Joseph Lavigne Jr., who was sent back to prison last year to finish his 22- to 60-year sentence after being convicted of the brutal rape of his daughter, has appealed his case to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Greg Ayers, Lavigne's attorney, wants the court to consider an improper jury instruction, a lack of forensic evidence and contradictory statements made by Lavigne's daughter, who was 5 at the time, when trying to identify her attacker.
In 2011, a Putnam County circuit judge reversed Lavigne's 1996 conviction and he was released from jail after serving 15 years. However, Putnam County prosecutor Mark Sorsaia appealed the decision and then the West Virginia Supreme Court sent him back to prison.
The U.S. Supreme Court receives around 10,000 appeals a year, according to its website, and only grants and hears oral arguments in about 75 to 80 cases.
Lavigne, 55, is incarcerated in the Mount Olive Correctional Center. His next parole hearing is Sept. 14, 2017, according to the state Division of Corrections website.