Man Framed for Rape, Murder of 11-Year-Old Girl Sues Lake County
A Lake County man wrongfully imprisoned for 20 years—half his life—following the 1992 rape and murder of an 11-year-old, filed suit against current and former officers from Waukegan, Lake Forest, Buffalo Grove, and the Lake County Sheriff's Department for allegedly framing him for the crimes until DNA evidence exonerated him.
According to the Complaint, on the third straight day of abusive police interrogation, then-19-year-old Juan Rivera, Jr. suffered a mental breakdown, was diagnosed with "acute psychosis" by medical officials at the jail, and left hog-tied in a padded cell. On the fourth day, following over 24 hours of non-stop interrogation, Rivera signed a written confession to the crimes in English, even though he had great difficulty understanding spoken English, and almost no ability to read and write in the language.
Rivera's suit, filed by Locke Bowman of the MacArthur Justice Center and Jon Loevy of Loevy and Lovey Attorneys at Law, contends that the interrogation exceeded all reasonable limits for police questioning and was completely out of bounds.
On January 6, 2012, after a long legal battle led by Northwestern University School of Law's Center on Wrongful Convictions, Juan Rivera, Jr. walked out of prison a free man, having served half of his life in prison for a crime he did not commit.
Exonerated Man Says Cops, Prosecutors Framed Him in Girl's Slaying, Chicago Tribune
Updated - 10/30/2012