The City of Wilmington, North Carolina just spent a half million dollars to settle a lawsuit with a man who was falsely arrested for a sexual crime.
WECT News reports that, “In the days after [his] arrest in March of 2015, he lost a good job, custody of his adopted and biological children, and his reputation.” We all know how damaging this label can be.
To make matters worse, the court determined that the arresting detective “knew or should have known” that a judge dismissed a prior family court case in which the accusations were made, because the detective testified in that case! This goes to show how law enforcement often will do anything to secure a case even in the absence of evidence.
False arrests and convictions happen often. By a stroke of sheer luck, this man’s “first court appearance, he got the same judge who’d presided over his four-day custody hearing, where the same allegations of sexual abuse were leveled, and ultimately dismissed.” Had it not been for that luck, he could have very well been sitting in prison today.
At the end of the day, the $500,000 settlement he got from the city is nice, but cannot possibly make up for the damage caused to him. Hopefully it will discourage the city to think twice next time.