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Wrongfully convicted Fairborn man awarded $45M by federal jury

DAYTON — A Fairborn man who was wrongfully convicted and spent decades in prison was just awarded the largest civil rights award in Ohio history.

Roger Dean Gillispie, served 20 years in prison for the rape and kidnappings of three women in Miami and Harrison Townships that he did not commit.

He was exonerated in 2011 after a federal court found the state withheld key evidence that would have led to his acquittal had it been presented to the juries in either of his two trials.

News Center 7′s John Bedell spoke with Gillispie last December when a Montgomery County judge formally declared him wrongfully imprisoned by the state of Ohio.

>> PREVIOUS COVERAGE: ‘Beginning of the next chapter;’ Man convicted in rapes, kidnappings declared wrongfully imprisoned

In this civil case, a federal jury in Ohio found that a former Miami Township police detective unconstitutionally suppressed evidence that would have cleared Gillispie in his criminal trials.

Today, Nov. 21, Gillispie was awarded $45 million, the largest civil rights award in Ohio history according to his legal team.

“After more than 30 years of trying to clear his name, Gillispie and his family were crying as the courtroom deputy read from a verdict form that proclaimed the jury’s finding,” Gillispie’s legal team wrote in a blog post.

News Center 7 reached out to Gillispie but was unable to get in touch.

In December Gillispie said his family was “buried in debt” from bankrolling his legal fights over the last three decades.

The decision made on Nov. 21 could be appealed.