Ohio Supreme Court Declines to Hear Prosecutor’s Appeal in Wrongful Conviction Case

Yesterday, Dean Gillispie, 47, the Ohio Innocence Project’s first client, had yet another court victory. The Ohio Supreme Court declined to hear Montgomery County Prosecutor Mathias Heck’s appeal of an earlier court decision that vacated Gillispie’s conviction and sentences.

Gillispie spent 20 years in prison for three 1988 rapes, which he always said he did not commit. His identification by victims in a photo line-up occurred two years after the crimes. No physical evidence connected Gillispie to the crimes.

In December 2011, U.S. District Magistrate Judge Michael R. Merz ordered Gillispie’s release after determining that he did not get a fair trial. Prosecutors had failed to reveal to the defense that the original Miami Township Police detectives in the case had eliminated Gillispie as a suspect due to the substantial differences in Gillispie’s appearance and the victims’ description of the perpetrator. According to the detectives, Gillispie, with a clean record, also did not fit the profile of a brazen rapist who abducted victims in broad daylight.

In April 2012, the Second District Court of Appeals also vacated Gillispie’s conviction and sentences after concluding that newly discovered evidence in the case created “a strong probability that the jury would reach a different conclusion if the newly discovered evidence were before it.”

Having won in both state and federal courts with the appeal declined by the Ohio Supreme Court, Ohio Innocence Project Director Mark Godsey will seek to remove Gillispie’s sex offender status, which no longer has legal basis.

The Dayton Daily News reported on the case update here.

4 responses to “Ohio Supreme Court Declines to Hear Prosecutor’s Appeal in Wrongful Conviction Case

  1. This is wonderful news; and everyone who has worked so hard on this case, for so long, are to be congratulated. Knowing Prosecuting Attorney Mathias H. Heck, Jr. as I do; I imagine the decision on whether to retry Mr. Gillispie will exclude any sense of propriety. The man simply lacks the character to do the correct thing, because it is the correct thing to do. I further believe this may have worked in Mr. Gillispie’s favor. Because Federal Magistrate Michael R. Merz also knows Mr. Heck well – and as a good and decent man, ruled accordingly in Mr. Gillispie’s favor. God speed.

  2. Docile Jim Brady – Columbus OH 43209


  3. Pingback: Freedom and Fishing… | Wrongful Convictions Blog

  4. my son is being represented by OIP his case was just denied by the 12 circuit court of appeals. they agreed with judge bcbride Clermont county about new DNA evidence could have been presented in the first two trials. but we didn’t have any money for anything like that. same way with a height graph done by OIP. signed kevins mom.

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