CHICAGO (AP) — Attorneys for an Illinois man who wrongfully served more than 19 years in prison for the 1992 rape and murder of an 11-year-old Waukegan girl said Friday they’ve settled a federal lawsuit against prosecutors and police for $20 million.
Juan Rivera was tried three times for the rape and murder of Holley Staker. His first conviction in 1993, when he was 19, was reversed on appeal and he was granted a new trial. He was convicted again in 1998, and in 2004, a Lake County judge granted Rivera DNA testing and a new trial.
His most recent conviction came in 2009 and was reversed in January 2012 after DNA evidence led investigators to another suspect. No one has been convicted in the girl’s slaying. The Illinois appellate court that freed Rivera barred prosecutors from trying the 41-year-old again.
Rivera’s lawsuit accused Lake County state’s attorney’s office and the sheriff’s department of coercing a confession and conspiring to deprive him of constitutional rights.