A Calhoun County, Michigan, mom filed a lawsuit in federal court on Thursday, July 27. She alleges that the county and one of its now-deceased detectives were responsible for her wrongful conviction on sex abuse charges in 2002.
In 2002, the woman was arrested and charged with four counts of criminal sexual conduct, a first-degree felony which was allegedly committed against her adopted son. Although she had professed her innocence during the duration of the trial, she was ultimately convicted on all charges that same year.
She was sentenced to a 25 to 50 years in prison at the time. Ultimately, she spent just eight years incarcerated.
The reason she was let out of prison after serving only a fraction of her sentence was that in 2009, her son came forward and recanted his accusations he had once waged against her. With that, the Battle Creek judge that had presided over the initial trial, threw out her first conviction.
After her conviction was overturned, the Michigan Innocence Project took on her case. They ultimately were able to secure the woman’s release from prison on bond. While out on bond, she was prohibited from driving a car and she was required to live with her own parents.
A new trial was ordered in 2009 and then again in 2012. According to the woman’s lawsuit, during the seven years she was out on bond, she alleges that the prosecutor assigned to the case tried to have it revoked on several occasions. Appeals in the case were also consistently denied.
On May 18, 2016, Michigan’s Supreme Court ruled that the woman should be allowed a retrial right away. Just one day later, the county’s prosecutor announced that he had no intention of prosecuting the woman once again.
Each day across this country, there’s a new person that is either wrongfully accused or convicted for a crime he or she did not commit. Some are forced to sit in jail until their alleged victim comes forward and recants their accusations. Others hold on to the hope scientific advances such as DNA will set them free.
If evidence has emerged that proves that you didn’t commit the crime you were once accused of, then you may benefit from discussing your case with a Detroit wrongful conviction attorney.
Source: Fox 17, “Lorinda Swain files federal lawsuit for wrongful conviction,” Dana Chicklas, July 28, 2017