MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Va. – David Kingrea lives in rural Montgomery County with his wife, Michelle, and their son, Dylan.
David’s life hasn’t always been that simple.
In 2011, his life was flipped upside down when his ex-girlfriend’s son accused David of sexually abusing him.
“We had a very bad relationship to say, but nevertheless I never would have thought that this would even never come up,” said David.
From the day David was arrested for the alleged crimes, he maintained his innocence.
“It was their word versus mine,” he said.
After 26 court appearances over the course of three years, David was found guilty and convicted of taking indecent liberties with a child.
He was sentenced to serve 12 months at Western Virginia Regional Jail in Salem.
“I looked at them all in the eyes and said, ‘I hope you know that you have just convicted an innocent man,’” David said he told the jury.
Worse than his 12 months in jail, David was put on the Virginia Sex Offender Registry.
“Being on the registry itself has been a death sentence,” he said.
Being on the registry barred David from parts of his own son’s life.
“That’s where it really came into effect. I couldn’t go to the schools, you can’t have meetings, you can’t have this,” said David.
In the fall of 2020, David’s life was sent into a spiral once again when he received a letter. It was from the boy, who is now an adult, who accused David of sexually abusing him over a decade ago.
“[The letter said,] he can’t change that past but he was going to do everything that he could to change my future to get me cleared because he knew I was innocent,” said David.
The letter took back all of the claims against David, clearing his name and getting him off the sex offender’s list.
The next step was to get David compensated for the time he wrongfully served in jail.
Attorney Emilee Hasbrouck worked on David’s compensation bill.
“David had his life completely ruined. His entire life was stolen from him based on wrongful and untrue allegations,” said Hasbrouck.
In March 2023, Virginia’s General Assembly approved a compensation package for David of $55,000 and Governor Glenn Youngkin signed off on it.
The fight isn’t over in Hatchett’s and David’s eyes, though.
“It matters to us. I mean how much can a person take? It’s hard to put twelve years of terrorizing somebody,” said David.
As for the person who wrongfully accused David, he’s currently serving time in prison for an unrelated crime.