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Verdicts & Settlements

False Arrest Cost Ill. County Sheriffs $15.5M

Posted Dec 21, 2007 12:04 PM CDT
By Molly McDonough

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Federal jurors in Chicago have awarded $15.5 million to the father of a 3-year-old who was abducted in 2004 from her Will County home and later found sexually assaulted and murdered.

Investigators focused the girl's father and extracted a confession. Kevin Fox stayed in jail for eight months until DNA evidence exonerated him.

Jurors found sheriff's deputies liable for false arrest, violation of Fox's due process rights, malicious prosecution and infliction of emotional distress, the Chicago Tribune reports. Jurors, however, declined to hold the deputies liable for false imprisonment or conspiracy.

The verdict is believed to be the largest in such a case in Illinois history. Fox and his wife Melissa are quoted saying they will use the money to fund the investigation to find their daughter's killer.

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