Charges have been dismissed against a man who spent nearly 30 years in prison for the 1984 sexual assault and murder of a 15-year-old suburban Chicago girl.

A Cook County judge on Wednesday agreed to a prosecutor's request to vacate the life sentence given to Christopher Abernathy.

The 48-year-old has been in prison since 1987, after being sentenced to life for the death of Park Forest High School student.

The Illinois Department of Corrections says it received a court order to release Abernathy, who's been held in Stateville Correctional Center.

The case is part of the prosecutor's Conviction Integrity Unit that was created in 2012 to reinvestigate wrongful or questionable convictions.

DNA testing in August 2014 excluded Abernathy. His attorneys also said the person who originally accused Abernathy has recanted.