Ohio man awarded $45 million after being wrongfully sentenced to 20 years in prison for kidnapping and rape

An Ohio man who was wrongly imprisoned for the kidnapping and rape of three women — including several twin sisters — in the 1980s has been awarded nearly $50 million by a jury.

Roger “Dean” Gillespie, 57, was convicted in 1991 of the rape and abduction of a 22-year-old twin sister and a third woman in Miami and Harris.

On Monday, a Montgomery County jury found that a Miami Township detective suppressed evidence leading to Gillespie’s conviction and awarded him $45 million, the largest settlement in Ohio state history.

“The verdict has proven me innocent from day one,” Gillespie said Monday outside the Dayton courthouse after he was paid the large sum.

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Roger “Dean” Gillespie, 57, was convicted of the rape and kidnapping of three women in 1991

In 2011, Gillespie’s conviction was overturned after he was brought to a new trial three years earlier.

He and his lawyers argued that new evidence pointed to a different suspect and that the accusing police had covered up the evidence.

He maintained his innocence throughout his sentence.

On Monday, after Gillispie was awarded the $45 million deal, he made a case to change the “system” he wrongly convicted.

“I’m just one of 3,199 people this happened to in the United States, and those people have been incarcerated for over 28,000 years for crimes we didn’t commit,” Gillespie said.

“And that has to stop. This system needs to be fixed… so that doesn’t happen.”

After Gillispie secured a $45 million agreement, he called for a change

After Gillespie secured a $45 million deal, he called for a change to the “system” that wrongly ruled him

In 2021, he spoke before a judge after officially announcing his “unlawful detention,” thanking those who have stood by him over the years.

“I thank my family, friends, counsel, the Ohio Innocence Project, and many others for their faith in me and their dedication to the search for truth over the past 31 years,” Gillespie said in 2021.

Montgomery County Common Pleas Judge Susan Saul said she can’t even imagine what the past 30 years have been like for the wrongly convicted man.

“I hope today takes you into the next and final chapter of this nightmare that has guided your life for the past 30 years and the next part will be much smoother and much faster,” said the judge.

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“This system has to be fixed … so that this doesn’t happen,” Gillespie said after receiving the largest award in the history of the settlements in Ohio.

During a court hearing in 2021, Gillespie said there wasn’t enough money in the world to make up for lost time.

“It’s not enough that they say $5 billion, no one’s taking $5 billion for 31 years, but they don’t know if they’re going to come out or not,” Gillespie said.

Nobody takes that. Money is irrelevant. It’s about showing we were right. The money is just to help me survive and help my family — my family is in debt because of that…”

“Money doesn’t fix me, it doesn’t fix lost time. It doesn’t fix the mental anguish and my PTSD. It doesn’t matter.”

Evidence presented at the latter trial showed that the police detective had created an unfair line-up and falsely claimed that a witness had identified Gillespie.

The detective also failed to turn up receipts showing that the Ohio man was on a camping trip in Kentucky at the time the crimes were committed.

On August 20, 1988, a man abducted 22-year-old twin sisters as they got into their car after shopping in Dayton, according to the National Exoneration Registry.

The man asked to see their wallets and told them his name was Roger and he was a security guard at a convenience store.

The unidentified man, who was wearing sunglasses, pointed a chrome gun at the twins, ordered them to drive through a wooded area, then exposed himself, fondled her breasts, and commanded them to perform oral sex.

During his 20-year sentence, Gillespie maintained his innocence until he finally obtained a new trial and then was granted his parole request in 2015.

During his 20-year sentence, Gillespie maintained his innocence until he finally obtained a new trial and then was granted his parole request in 2015.

He then blindfolds them and takes them back to the store, where he kidnaps them and drives away with money from their bags.

Another woman later came forward and told police she had a similar experience with a man who kidnapped her earlier in the month.

The 28-year-old said a man wearing sunglasses pointed a chrome gun at her and got into her car as she exited a store in another mall.

This woman also said that the man identified himself as “Roger” and said he was a security guard.

He ordered her to drive to a parking lot that was an empty building, fondled her breasts and forced her to perform oral sex on her.

Composite drawings of the suspect in both crimes were released to the public, and after a year of investigation, a former Gillispie employee provided a photo of the man, claiming he believed the 24-year-old was indeed the sketch.

In June 1990, Detective Scott Moore presented Gillespie’s picture in a lineup shown to the victims, and all three women identified Gillespie as their attacker.

The defense later argued that the lineup was “unfairly suggestive” because it was the only one with a yellow background, the only close-up and the only one with a matte finish.

Criminal police questioned the man, but denied any knowledge of the attacks.

A search of the man’s home also found no relevant evidence, including sunglasses, a chrome-plated gun, or a medal the attacker said the victims were wearing.

The man was convicted in June 1991 after the jury initially voted 8-4 to acquit.

He was sentenced to 28 to 56 years in prison.

Several appeals were rejected over the years before he was finally brought in and released on bail in December 2011.

In 2012 he was officially granted a new trial. More than three years later, A.J A Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas judge granted Gillespie and his legal team a motion to dismiss the lawsuit.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11462577/Ohio-man-awarded-45-million-wrongfully-jailed-20-years-kidnap-rape.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 A man got $45 million after he was wrongfully sentenced to 20 years in prison for kidnapping and rape