A man convicted of abducting a woman had his sentencing hearing postponed in Albemarle County Circuit Court July 22.
In May 2013, 53-year-old Mark Weiner was found guilty of abduction with intent to defile. The victim claimed Weiner drugged her and took her to an abandoned home. The jury recommended a sentence of 20 years in prison.
Defense attorneys for Mark Weiner say they are especially frustrated that the sentencing hearing was postponed because their client is innocent - and they say they have new conclusive evidence that proves it.
Judge Cheryl Higgins delayed sentencing so that Weiner could receive a mental evaluation. Tuesday, after hearing about past allegations when police stopped Weiner for questionable interactions with women, Judge Higgins ordered the exam.
“It is designed to look at any sexual abnormalities preference, abnormal sexual preferences a person might have. It has to be performed by a psychologist or clinician that specializes in this type of behavior,” said Denise Lunsford, commonwealth’s attorney.
Last month, Higgins upheld Weiner's conviction even after considering new text message records that the defense says places him nowhere near the victim.
Weiner's attorney said witnesses had traveled from all over the country to testify on Weiner's behalf – now, they will have to wait.
“So it's day 599 that an innocent man remains in prison for something that he didn't do, something that didn't happen,” said Steve Benjamin, Weiner’s attorney.
On August, 4, Weiner's formal sentencing was rescheduled to October 8.
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