David Lee Wiggins was convicted in 1989 after the girl picked him out of a photo lineup. He was sentenced to life in prison, but DNA testing earlier this month excluded Wiggins as the person who committed the crime.
Judge Louis Sturns in Fort Worth on Friday freed Wiggins on bond pending his formal exoneration. Tarrant County prosecutors say DNA evidence demonstrated the man’s innocence. Wiggins will be the second person to have a conviction overturned by DNA in Tarrant County since 2001.
The nonprofit Innocence Project says Wiggins will live with a friend he met through his church ministry.