Who is Roger Gillispie? Ohio man wrongfully imprisoned 20 years for kidnapping and raping 3 women gets $45M
'I was innocent. I'm innocent, always have been innocent, and we just proved it again one more time,' said Roger Gillispie, 57, who was released from prison in 2011
MONTGOMERY, OHIO: Ohio resident Roger "Dean" Gillispie, who spent more than 20 years in prison after being falsely convicted, has been awarded a $45 million settlement in a civil lawsuit. Authorities from Montgomery County had found Gillispie guilty of rape, kidnapping, and aggravated robbery in 1991 for three different assaults on women that took place in 1988.
Gillispie, now 57 years old, was later declared innocent. The falsely imprisoned man, who was released from prison in December 2011, accused detective Scott Moore of the Miami Township Police Department of erasing evidence and tainting eyewitnesses "through a highly improper and contaminated identification process." The US District Judge Magistrate Judge Michael Merz stated, "There was, of course, absolutely no physical evidence that connected Mr. Gillispie to the crimes." The court ultimately overturned Gillispie's conviction and mandated his release from custody "for constitutional reasons relating to police misconduct, perjury, witness tampering, and Brady violations." The work of the University of Cincinnati College of Law students and the school's Innocence Project chapter, who worked on the case for years, was crucial to the innocent man's efforts to clear his name, according to Law & Crime.
Mark Godsey, Director of the Ohio Innocence Project, said, "The horror inflicted on Dean and his family and community is hard to wrap your mind around. 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," as reported by the Columbus Dispatch.
After Gillispie's release, more work was required to be done because it took until December 2021 for the Montgomery County judge to publicly acknowledge him as "a wrongfully imprisoned individual." That decision gave the 2013 civil lawsuit against Moore and the MTPD more momentum, which resulted in a $45 million verdict.
On November 21, 2022, federal jury found the department responsible and agreed with Gillispie's allegations against Moore that he provided false identifications and concealed evidence. The outcome was deemed disappointing by the police department, according to Law & Crime.
In a statement, MTPD said, "Miami Twp. is disappointed in the verdict against former police officer, Matthew Scott Moore. The investigation involving Roger Dean Gillispie occurred more than 30 years ago, complicating Mr. Moore’s defense. Miami Twp. must reserve further comment until we thoroughly review the ruling against Mr. Moore," as reported by the Journal-News. Gillispie's attorneys stated that the $45 million verdict is apparently the highest ever in Ohio for police misconduct.
The wrongfully convicted man said, "The verdict just proved my point from day one, that I'm innocent. I was innocent. I'm innocent, always have been innocent, and we just proved it again one more time. That's the third time we have proved that I am innocent," in front of the Walter H Rice Federal Building and US Courthouse in Dayton on Monday, according to the Journal-News.