The accusation has been shown to be unfounded, and the DA will pay a price for what seems now to have been a politically inspired prosecution. Once again we are reminded of what happens when the law is used to further a political agenda, in this case the reelection campaign of a North Carolina district attorney. Of course, on a vastly larger scale, we are have recently seen how the GOP subverted the law to attack their political opponents, including putting one Wisconsin official in jail.
Will the media also pay a price? There's a long list of people who need to reexamine their readiness to mine this story and sell papers. I checked, and it appears that I'm not among the guilty. I recall thinking that the emotion had far outstripped the available data. The NYT had to pay out for prematurely assigning guilt to a Chinese-American physicist a few years back, I expect there will be some well-deserved payments this time as well.