Washington's Clark County To Take $10 Million Loan To Pay Settlement In Case Of Men Wrongfully Imprisoned For 17 Years For Rape Charges

| by Will Hagle

Alan Northrop and Larry Davis were convicted of rape in 1993. In 2010, after new DNA evidence indicated that Northrop and Davis were not actually involved in the crime, a judge dismissed their case and released them from jail. To reprimand the pair’s 17 years spent in jail for a crime they did not commit, the local government of Clark County, Washington is taking out a $10 million loan to pay a settlement in the case. 

The loan is being taken from Bank of America Preferred Funding Corp. at a 1.85% interest rate over seven years.

DNA testing technology has significantly improved since Northrop and Davis were convicted in 1993. The two men were initially convicted of raping a woman that claimed she was blindfolded and tied up before the sexual assault began, so she had few details about the assailants. The evidence was taken from the woman’s fingernails and pubic hair, and ultimately revisited due to a judge's order as well as a push from the organization Innocence Project Northwest, according to The Columbian. The tests resulted in evidence of the DNA of two other men. 

Davis and Northrop’s attorneys explained the emotional trauma their clients experienced spending 17 years in jail without committing a crime, and the compensation that they demanded as a consequence. 

“Larry Davis and Alan Northrop were accused of committing a crime which they did not commit and then, when the evidence showed that they were not the right suspects, their constitutional rights were violated over and over again by an aggressive detective who was dead set on convicting these two innocent men. They were subject to humiliation, fear, scorn, and ridicule as alleged rapists. Larry Davis and Alan Northrop spent over 17 years in prison for crimes they did not commit. They lost their entire young manhood. They were kept away from their families, lost loved ones, missed children growing up, and lost their chance for a normal life. Their parents and loved ones passed away without ever knowing of their vindication,” part of the lawsuit read. 

The lawsuit alleges that Clark County Sheriff’s deputy Don Slagle was negligent in his refusal to pursue other suspects in the case.