$15.5 million awarded in false arrest suit
WILMINGTON, Ill. -- A jury has awarded $15.5 million to a Wilmington, Ill., couple after the husband claimed he was falsely arrested in connection with their daughter's death.
Will County sheriff's Sgt. Edward Hayes, Deputies Scott Swearengen, Michael Guilfoyle, Brad Wachtl and the estate of late deputy John Ruettiger were found liable for the false arrest of Kevin Fox, violation of his due process rights, malicious prosecution against him and infliction of severe emotional distress on the man and his wife, Melissa, the Chicago Tribune reported Friday.
Kevin Fox was arrested in 2004 after his 3-year-old daughter, Riley, was found dead in Forked Creek, a stream four miles from the family's home. Investigators determined the girl had been sexually assaulted.
Fox spent right months awaiting trial in the Will County Jail before he was exonerated by DNA evidence. He testified that his rights were not explained to him, his requests for a lawyer went unanswered and the interrogators misrepresented evidence and falsely told him that he failed a polygraph test.
He said the detectives showed him a graphic picture of his daughter's body and told him he would be raped in jail unless he formulated a story that represented the girl's death as accidental.
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