WILMINGTON, N.C. — A North Carolina man who was exonerated after serving nearly four years in prison on a rape conviction has received a financial settlement from the state.

The Rocky Mount Telegram reports that the North Carolina Industrial Commission awarded 47-year-old Knolly Brown statutory damages during a hearing Monday. A commission spokeswoman said Wednesday the agency awarded Brown just over $185,000.

Brown pleaded no contest to second-degree rape in October 2009 in connection with the January 2008 attack on a 12-year-old girl who identified him as her attacker. The state forensics lab determined a hair sample found on the girl’s body matched Brown.

Brown was released in June 2013. A three-judge panel voted unanimously that Brown had proved he was innocent after testing of DNA samples excluded Brown as the culprit.

Information from: Rocky Mount Telegram, http://www.rockymounttelegram.com

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