City of Charleston pays $85K to settle false arrest suit

February 21, 2019

City of Charleston officials say they have reached a settlement with a former College of Charleston student who was falsely accused of sexual assault.


According to court documents, the city paid $85,000 to settle the false arrest suit against Charleston Police that alleged officers failed to thoroughly investigate claims of a sexual assault in 2014.


The man was arrested in March of that year after a woman accused him of date rape.


Court documents state the woman told friends about her date and consensual sex and only went to the police after being “guilted” by her roommate. The suit claimed the investigator had evidence contradicting the woman’s statement and also lacked sufficient evidence to back up the claim.


But police arrested the man on a sexual assault charge and took him to court, documents state.


For almost four years he had the charge and a possible ten year prison sentence hanging over him. During the criminal trial in November 2017, the detective testified under oath about the scope of her investigation and that testimony was used against her in the civil trial to prove negligence in investigating the case.


A jury acquitted the man after a four-day trial.


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