In May 1985, Patrick Montgomery, an attorney in Dallas, Texas was charged in with molesting two of his daughters, ages five and seven, on January 15, 1984. At the time, Montgomery was in the midst of contentious divorce.
In June 1987, Montgomery went on trial before a jury in Dallas County Criminal District Court.
The girls testified that Montgomery touched their genitals with his hands after telling them to pull down their underwear.
Montgomery’s ex-wife testified that he frequently walked around nude with an erection in front of the girls. She said that he bathed the girls and that she had once discovered one of them in the shower with Montgomery, that the youngest girl kissed him with her mouth open and stuck her tongue in his, and that he talked about their genitals and made statements such as “my lips were made for kissing.”
The prosecution also called a child sexual abuse expert, who said the girls had reported the abuse and that they had not been coached.
Montgomery testified in his own behalf and denied any sexual contact with the girls. He accused his ex-wife of coaching the girls to falsely accuse him.
On June 18, 1987, Montgomery was convicted by a jury in Dallas County Criminal District Court of two counts of indecency with a child and sentenced to 20 years in prison. He remained free on an appeal bond until the convictions were upheld by the Texas Criminal Court of Appeals in 1992. He surrendered to prison on June 18, 1992.
In 2008, Montgomery filed a state petition for a writ of habeas corpus contending that the two victims had recanted their trial testimony and admitted they testified falsely at the urging of their mother and police.
At a hearing on May 9, 2008, both girls testified that they had lied at the trial, at the behest of their mother. The trial judge ruled that the recantations were credible and set aside the convictions.
On April 29, 2009, the Texas Criminal Court of Appeals upheld the trial court ruling and reversed the convictions. The Dallas District Attorney’s Office dismissed the charges on June 10, 2009 and Montgomery was released.
Montgomery filed a claim for compensation for wrongful imprisonment and as of 2012, he had received $636,893 in state compensation.
– Maurice Possley