Nearly six years after his false arrest and botched trial, a Los Angeles man has finally won his case against the City of Sacramento.
The plaintiff’s lawyer, Jeff Dominic Price, has won over $5 million for his client.
According to Price, the plaintiff “suffered, pain, fright, fear, embarrassment, humiliation, loss of liberty, as well as mental, emotional and physical injuries.” Jail, it would seem, is not a safe place for wrongly-accused sexual predators.
Even more outrageous, the City of Sacramento is pushing back on the lawsuit, balking at the $5 million-dollar price tag. Sacramento City Attorney James Sanchez, along with other unnamed city officials, is “disappointed in the verdict,” believing there is “no reasonable” reason that the plaintiff should be awarded so much.
Regardless of Sacramento city officials’ opinions, the jury – faced with mounting evidence – declared that not only was the plaintiff innocent, the case and trial were badly mishandled.
Early in 2011, a 12-year old girl using a new laptop was contacted via Facebook and asked to undress via webcam as he masturbated. Alarmed and disgusted, the girl’s mother contacted the Sacramento Police Department for help.
Police ran the Facebook account user’s last name through police records. By coincidence, Price’s client had the same last name and a criminal record. Police obtained his photo and presented it to the victim along with five other suspects’ pictures.
Initially, the girl said the plaintiff was “too skinny” but it “kind of looks like him.” Police making their case against the plaintiff did not mention the “too skinny” comment.
Following his arrest, the suspect insisted he was innocent and had no Facebook account. An examination of his personal computer verified this. The FBI filed a subpoena with Facebook for the poster’s location and traced it to Vienna, Austria. Police, however, failed to follow up with the FBI and never bothered to find out.
Price’s plaintiff still has adverse effects from his experience. In a phone interview, Price also explained that the girl – now 17 – has also suffered because of the incident.
The man who committed the crime is still at large.