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Illinois War Veteran Awarded Over $2 Million For Malicious Prosecution

Illinois resident and retired Marine Timothy Finwall brought a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action against the City of Chicago, two of its detectives and resident Mary Boswell for illegal, unethical and malicious prosecution. He was framed in 2001 for attempted child abduction but later acquitted. A jury awarded him just over $2 million.

In 2001, an unknown assailant attempted to abduct an eighteen year old girl. Detectives Martin Garcia and Dion Boyd, after discovering that Finwall served no time for disarming a fellow policeman who was drunk and pointing a gun at Finwall"s friend, allegedly received a tip naming Finwall as the perpetrator. Garcia and Boyd obtained a thirteen year old photo of Finwall and showed it to the child's mother, Boswell, and suggested that he was the assailant. After discovering that he owned a green Honda Civic the two detectives coerced Boswell to say that the assailant drove off in a green car, and further typed a false report claiming that the child saw Finwall by a green car (the original report stated that it was unknown whether the assailant fled by car). Meanwhile, the real perpetrator attempted another abduction with the same motives and actions.

Finwall was arrested and a rigged line up with suggestive tactics obtained a positive identification. An I.D. in two other cases, however, failed. The detectives then held Finwall in an interrogation room for two days handcuffed to a wall and made him urinate on the floor. He was subsequently acquitted at trial and brought a civil rights action for false arrest and imprisonment, unlawful detention, violation of due process, conspiracy, malicious prosecution and intentional infliction of emotional distress. He requested declaratory and monetary relief.

A United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois jury found in Finwall's favor in the amount of $2,025,000. See: Finwall v. City of Chicago, USDC, N.D. Ill. Case No. 1:04 cv 04663 (Oct. 23, 2007).

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Related legal case

Finwall v. City of Chicago, USDC, N.D. Ill., Case No. 1:04 cv 04663 (Oct. 23, 2007)

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