If he was exonerated, then isn't the crime in which he was accused of off his record? If so, why did the police think he was unregistered when he didn't need to in the first place?
By Cynthia Dizikes
A man who was exonerated last month in an alleged 2002 rape at the Daley Center was briefly jailed Sunday because police thought he was an unregistered sex offender, according to his lawyer.
Russell Ainsworth, who represented _____ in his wrongful conviction case, said the Berwyn Police Department held _____ for about two hours, until Ainsworth was able to get to the station and provide documents proving the conviction had been thrown out.
"He is not required to register as a sex offender because he is not a sex offender," Ainsworth said.
It was not clear Sunday why _____'s name shows up on the Illinois sex offender registry website. His status was listed as noncompliant for failing "to maintain accurate registration records as required by law."
The registry is maintained by the Illinois State Police. Spokeswoman Monique Bond said she could not immediately comment on the specifics of the case. Berwyn Police Cmdr. Joe Santangelo said the arrest was made as part of a routine sex offender compliance check. He said he planned to review the arrest Monday but believed the situation involved a records glitch.
_____'s sister, _____, said her brother and she were getting ready for church when Berwyn police officers knocked on her door a little before 8 a.m. _____, who spent years trying to prove her brother's innocence, said the police told her they were looking for _____.
"When I opened the door, they busted past me and then walked through the home to the kitchen," _____ said. "(My brother) just had on his pajama pants drinking his coffee, and they had him in handcuffs."
She said she tried to explain to the police that her brother's conviction had been vacated and that she had the paperwork to prove it, but they arrested him anyway.
_____, 58, was sentenced to 30 years in prison for an alleged May 2002 rape of a county employee at the Daley Center. But last month, Cook County prosecutors made the stunning announcement that they doubted the credibility of the woman who brought the allegations against _____ and no longer believed the sexual assault even took place.
_____, who has been diagnosed with schizophrenia and has a low IQ, was released from prison Sept. 10 after 11 years in custody. Since that time, _____ has been living with his sister and her daughter in west suburban Berwyn.
Sally Daly, a spokeswoman for the Cook County state's attorney's office, said Berwyn police contacted the office about _____'s case after they arrested him Sunday.
The state's attorney's office told police that _____'s conviction had been vacated and that he was not required to register as a sex offender, said Daly, who added that she did not know how _____'s name ended up on the site. The state's attorney's office is not required to notify state police of exonerations, she said.
- And that is a problem that needs to be fixed!
"He shouldn't have been on the (sex offender) website," Daly said.
Ainsworth said the Berwyn Police Department told him that _____ had been caught up in a sex offender sweep because he showed up as unregistered.
Police released _____ around 10 a.m. and notified all Berwyn police officers of the situation, Ainsworth said.
_____ said that since her brother's release, they have been trying to adjust to his life at home and his medication schedule and that the arrest Sunday did not help.
"We didn't think that every time we turned around and opened our door, there were going to be police there," _____ said. "I mean, come on, when is it going to be over?"
- Exonerated man's name pulled from sex offender website (Video Below)