Exonerated Man Claims He Was Framed by Police and Prosecutors

A man, imprisoned for 20 years for the rape and murder of an 11-year-old girl, claims he was framed by cops and prosecutors.

Almost ten months after being released from prison, a man convicted three times of the 1992 rape and murder of an 11-year-old girl, despite DNA evidence excluding him as her attacker, filed a lawsuit Tuesday against law enforcement officers, alleging they framed him.

The federal lawsuit is filed by a man who spent twenty years behind bars for the murder of a young girl, one of four violent felonies in which prosecutors insisted on the victim’s guilt, in spite of the fact that forensic evidence pointed to his innocence.

The victim claims that police coerced him into falsely confessing his guilt.

The suit maintains that the victim underwent an abusive and unreasonable interrogation by police and prosecutors. They took advantage of the suspect’s vulnerable state by interrogating him repeatedly for the four days in which he had very little sleep, taking advantage of his low I.Q., his difficulties with the English language and the psychological breakdown he suffered while in custody.

It is alleged that police fed him details of the crime, according to the lawsuit, even though they knew that when the rape and murder occurred, the suspect was on electronic monitoring for an unrelated crime and could not have possibly murdered the girl.

Three separate juries of 12 heard the evidence in the case, including the victim’s confession and they all found him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, as stated by the sheriff’s office and state attorney’s council.

In 1992 the suspect was in jail for burglary when police began to focus on him as a suspect in the death of the 11 year-old-girl, killed as she baby-sat two children. After police obtained his signature on a written confession, the suspect was convicted three times, the last time in 2009, in spite of DNA evidence which did not match his genetic profile, suggesting that someone else, not the suspect, had stabbed and raped the girl.

The way in which prosecutors gave their explanation of the DNA was by saying that, although the girl was only 11 years old, she must have had consensual sex with someone else, and said the suspect’s confession showed he killed the girl.

In December 2011, the Illinois Appellate Court threw out the suspect’s conviction and barred prosecutors from trying him again, citing the DNA and questionable tactics used in the interrogation. The suspect was a free man the following month after prosecutors decided not to challenge the ruling.

At a news conference, the suspect said that he is trying to get his life back and filed a lawsuit so that others would not have to suffer the way he did.

What do you think would be a fair settlement for a man imprisoned for 20 years, by law enforcement, for a crime he did not commit? (20 years is almost one-third of an average lifespan).

Feel free to comment on this blog post. Contact one of our Gacovino Lake attorneys at 1-800-246-HURT (4878).

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