RICHMOND (AP) -- Virginia's attorney general says a Hampton judge lacked jurisdiction to order the release of an imprisoned man whose accuser recanted her sexual assault allegation.

Brian Gottstein, a spokesman for Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, says Jonathan Montgomery's case is a tragedy. But he says in an email Monday that Circuit Judge Randolph West's order exonerating Montgomery and vacating the final two years of his sentence is void under state law. He says Montgomery probably needs to petition the Virginia Court of Appeals for a writ of actual innocence, which Cuccinelli will support.

'Attorney General Cuccinelli has a record of working to vindicate those who are innocent by joining in helping them secure writs of actual innocence. In three previous actual innocence cases in Virginia, he has worked vigorously to expedite their release,' Gottstein said.

Montgomery's father, David Montgomery, says his son should be released immediately. He says the attorney general's office is holding an innocent man captive.

Montgomery's plight was first reported by The Daily Press.

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