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Timeline of Events in the Case of Thomas Haynesworth


January 3, 1984

– A 20-year-old woman is raped at knifepoint in an East End day-care center in Richmond.


January 21, 1984

– An 18-year-old woman is sodomized at knifepoint near an East End grocery store in Richmond.


January 27, 1984

– Abduction and attempted robbery in the East End of Richmond.


January 30, 1984

– An 18-year-old woman is abducted, raped and sodomized at gunpoint in Henrico County, blocks away from the first three attacks.


February 1, 1984

– A 19-year-old woman is abducted at gunpoint during an attempted rape in the East End of Richmond.


February 5, 1984

– Thomas Haynesworth, then 18, is arrested as he walks to a store near his East End home.  He had been spotted by one of the victims and identified as the perpetrator.  The other four victims subsequently identify him as their attacker in photo arrays.  He was never again released.


March 5, 1984

– A 28-year-old woman is stabbed on the 2600 block of E. Main Street in Richmond. 


August 23, 1984

– A woman is abducted and stabbed in the Fan District.


October 11, 1984

– Haynesworth is sentenced in the last of three convictions and begins a 74-year prison sentence.  Of the two remaining cases, the prosecution chose not to pursue charges in one, and Haynesworth was acquitted in another.


October 16, 1984

– A 27-year-old woman is stabbed in an abduction and attempted rape on the 7500 block of Spratley Road in Henrico.


November 7, 1984

– A woman is abducted and robbed in an attempted rape in the Fan District.


November 9, 1984

– A woman is raped on the 4000 block of Hooper Road in Henrico.


November 24, 1984

– A 15-year-old girl is abducted at gunpoint and raped in Richmond.



December 8, 1984

– Another 15-year-old girl is abducted and raped at knife point in Richmond.


December 8, 1984

– A woman is raped on the 4000 block of Almora Avenue in Henrico.


December 11, 1984

– Three women are robbed outside a laundromat in Richmond.


December 13, 1984

– A 30-year-old woman is abducted and raped at knife point in Richmond.


December 14, 1984

– Police issue warning to the public about multiple rapes in Henrico and Richmond occurring in the preceding months committed by a man calling himself the “Black Ninja.”


December 19, 1984

– Leon Davis, Jr. is arrested as the self proclaimed “Black Ninja” rapist and indicted for rapes occurring March through December, 1984.  He is eventually sentenced to a half-dozen life terms plus 100 years for rape, sodomy, abduction, robbery and malicious wounding.


December 14, 2005

– Gov. Mark R. Warner orders a massive, post-conviction DNA study looking for people wrongfully convicted of crimes from 1973 through 1988.


March and April, 2009

– DNA test results proved that Haynesworth is innocent of the January 3, 1984, rape for which he was convicted.  The Department of Forensic Science matches the donor of the sperm in the January 3, 1984, rape to the genetic profile of Davis.


September 18, 2009

– The Virginia Supreme Court grants Haynesworth a writ of actual innocence in the January 3, 1984, rape based on DNA evidence.


June 17, 2010

– DNA testing sought by Haynesworth excludes him as the donor of sperm left in the January 21, 1984, forcible sodomy in Richmond and again matches Davis.


September 2, 2010

– At the request of the Richmond Commonwealth’s Attorney, a retired FBI polygrapher administered a polygraph examination to Mr. Haynesworth regarding the February 1, 1984, crime.  Mr. Haynesworth passed the test.


October 26, 2010

– At the request of the Henrico County Commonwealth’s Attorney, the Virginia State Police administered a polygraph examination to Mr. Haynesworth regarding the January 3, 1984, crime.  Mr. Haynesworth passed the test.

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