An Ohio man will receive R$242 million (US$45 million) in a civil lawsuit against a police department and a former detective whose actions led to a wrongful conviction. The man spent 20 years behind bars.
Dean Gillispie sued the Miami County Police and former Detective Scott Moore for concealing evidence and changing the identities of eyewitnesses in the 1991 abduction and rape of twin girls and a woman.
He was convicted in Montgomery County, but was released from prison in 2011. The University of Cincinnati Law School’s Ohio Innocence Project, former Ohio Attorney General Jim Petro, and Dean’s mother, Juana Gillispie, worked to free him and clear his name.
According to the US newspaper USA Today, Gillispie is 57 years old and lives in Fairborn, a suburb of Dayton in Montgomerry County.
“It’s hard to imagine the horrors endured by Dean, his family, and his community,” said Mark Godsey, Director of the Ohio Innocence Project. “It’s very disappointing that the authorities enforced the conviction and then reacted and refused to admit a mistake. Nothing can make up for the horrors of Dean,” he said. “The jury’s decision sends a strong message that those in power must change the way they do things.”
“Justice prevailed in this case, but it took a very, very, very long time for that to happen,” Jim Petro, co-author of a book on wrongful convictions, told USA Today.
Proven Innocence Last Year
Gillispie has steadfastly maintained her innocence from day one. However, by 2021, a Montgomery County judge declared him a wrongfully detained person.
He was found guilty of raping and kidnapping two twin sisters and a woman. But the jury in the federal civil case concluded that the former detective Gillispie violated his rights by withholding evidence that could aid the defense and establishing unfair trials for victims.
At the time, Moore lied to say a witness had identified him, and later told victims that, to their confusion, they might not recognize Gillispie in court because he had “dyed his hair.”
Evidence was also presented that the former detective failed to provide camp receipts showing that he was in Kentucky at the time the crimes were committed, according to his lawyers. There is no biological evidence linking the defendants to the crimes.
Mark Jones is a world traveler and journalist for News Rebeat. With a curious mind and a love of adventure, Mark brings a unique perspective to the latest global events and provides in-depth and thought-provoking coverage of the world at large.