Aldermen Back $950K Settlement For Police Torture Claim In 1951 Rape case
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CHICAGO (CBS) – The City Council on Wednesday will likely approve a $950,000 settlement for a one-time bible student who claimed he confessed to a 1951 rape after he was tortured by police.
WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports the City Council Finance Committee has recommended the payout to Oscar Walden Jr., an African-American man who was pardoned in 2003 in the rape and beating of a white woman.
Walden was convicted in the case in 1952, but insisted for 50 years that he was not the man responsible for the attack, and that police tortured him into falsely confessing.
First Assistant Corporation Counsel Leslie Darling said Walden was the only suspect presented to the victim during the investigation.
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports
Then-Gov. George Ryan pardoned Walden in 2003.
Walden filed a malicious prosecution claim against the city and unknown police officers, alleging he was beaten and forced to confess.
Darling recommended settling Walden’s lawsuit against the city, telling aldermen “Walden’s damages consisted of 14 years of incarceration, from age 20 to age 34. When he was arrested, Walden was married and employed. He was also auditing classes, while he prepared to enroll in Moody Bible Institute.”
Walden is now an ordained minister.
Ald. Leslie Hairston said she’s dismayed at how long it’s taken to reach a settlement.
“This is something that occurred in 1952, and the fact that it’s being settled in 2012, when the plaintiff is 80 years old, is just unacceptable,” she said.
Finance Committee Chairman Ed Burke (14th) was also amazed at how long the case has taken, and how relatively small the settlement seems to be after all that time.
“It doesn’t seem like very much for what the plaintiff endured,” Burke said.
Walden originally sought $4 million in damages.