$45 million awarded to man declared ‘wrongfully imprisoned’

State

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — A federal court jury has awarded $45 million to a man who spent two decades in prison on rape and kidnapping convictions that were later overturned.

The Montgomery County jury verdict came Monday in the civil lawsuit filed by Roger “Dean” Gillispie and followed a judge’s declaration last year that he was “a wrongfully imprisoned individual.”

“The verdict just proved my point from day one, that I’m innocent,” Gillispie said outside the courthouse in Dayton, the Dayton Daily News reported. “… That’s the third time we have proved that I am innocent.”

The Fairborn man was convicted in 1991 in the rapes and kidnappings of three women in two attacks in Miami Township and Harrison Township. He moved for a new trial in 2008, arguing that new evidence pointed to another suspect and authorities had suppressed exculpatory evidence.

A court threw out the convictions and ordered a new trial, and a judge eventually dismissed the case. Gillispie was released in 2011, and the “wrongfully imprisoned” declaration in December paved the way for his civil lawsuit.

The suit alleged that a former Miami Township detective failed to disclose camping receipts showing Gillispie was in Kentucky at the time of two of the crimes. The township said it was disappointed by the verdict and cited the fact that the investigation occurred three decades ago as having complicated the defense. It declined further comment.