Warren settles rape case lawsuit for $2.8 million Falsely imprisoned man sued for violation of his civil rights

By Ed White

Associated Press

DETROIT (AP) -- A Detroit suburb has agreed to pay $2.8 million to settle a lawsuit by a man who spent nearly 12 years in prison for a rape of which he was later acquitted, according to a document filed in federal court.

The deal with Jeffrey Moldowan is on behalf of Warren and a former city police detective, Donald Ingles. It wasn't immediately clear if the money will come from the city or its insurer.

Moldowan was convicted of abducting a former girlfriend, raping her and dumping her on a street in Detroit in 1990. He was 20 at the time. His conviction, as well as the conviction of an alleged accomplice, was thrown out in 2002 based on new alibi witnesses and an expert who recanted her testimony about bite marks found on the victim.

The Macomb County prosecutor put Moldowan and Michael Cristini through a second trial in 2003 but they were acquitted.

Moldowan, now 41, filed a lawsuit in 2005, claiming his civil rights were violated by a bungled police investigation and the decision to hold a second trial. He also sued Dr. Alan Warnick, whose bite-mark testimony was crucial in the 1991 trial. Warnick reached an out-of-court settlement in August.

The $2.8 million deal with Warren was made Oct. 11, less than a month after the city offered $2 million, court records show. Messages seeking comment were left Tuesday with Mayor James Fouts and attorneys for Moldowan and the city.

Trial is set for Nov. 2 for the remaining defendants, Macomb County and prosecutor Eric Smith. They offered $100,000 to settle on Oct. 6.

Moldowan also sued the woman who had accused him of rape, but a federal appeals court in 2009 said she could not be pursued. Her statements were "critical" in the decision to file charges but "were only part of a broader, independent investigation," the court said.

A lawsuit Cristini filed against local authorities in 2007 is pending.

Published: Wed, Oct 19, 2011

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