Ohio man wins $45 million in lawsuit after being wrongfully imprisoned for 20 years
LAURA A. BISCHOFF
November 22, 2022, 10:56 AM
COLUMBUS, Ohio – An Ohio man won $45 million in a civil lawsuit against a police department and detective whose actions led to his wrongful conviction and more than 20 years behind bars.
Dean Gillispie sued Miami Township police and former detective Scott Moore for suppressing evidence and tainting eyewitness identifications in the 1991 rape and kidnapping case against Gillispie.
Gillispie was convicted in 1991 in Montgomery County and released from prison in 2011. The Ohio Innocence Project at the University of Cincinnati law school, former Ohio Attorney General Jim Petro and Dean’s mother, Juana Gillispie, worked to free him and clear his name.
Today, Gillispie is 57, and lives in Fairborn, a suburb of Dayton.
“The horror inflicted on Dean and his family and community is hard to wrap your mind around,” Ohio Innocence Project Director Mark Godsey said. “The way the authorities pushed through a conviction and then fought back and refused to admit a mistake was so disappointing. Nothing can repay Dean for the horror.”
He added: “The jury’s verdict sends a strong message that those in power need to change the way they do things.”
“Justice prevailed in this case, although it took a long, long, long time for that to occur,” said Petro, who co-authored a book with his wife Nancy about wrongful convictions.
David Owens, whose firm Loevy & Loevy represents wrongfully convicted clients and represented Gillispie, said they believe $45 million sets an Ohio record.
It is unclear if Miami Township or Moore will seek to appeal the case or when Gillispie might receive payment.