Wrongly Convicted Database Record

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Jeffrey Moldowan


Years Imprisoned:

12

Charge:

Rape, Kidnapping (abduction) and Assault

Sentence:

60 to 90 years

Year Convicted:

1991

Year Cleared:

2003

Location of Trial:

Michigan

Result:

Judicially Exonerated Released

Summary of Case:

Jeffrey Moldowan and Michael Cristini were co-defendants. The two men were wrongly convicted in 1991 of kidnapping and raping a 22-year-old woman on August 8, 1990. The woman, Maureen Fournier, was Moldowan's former girlfriend. The sole identifying evidence was testimony by the State's expert witness that bite marks on the body matched both co-defendants. The men's convictions were reversed by the Michigan Supreme Court. Both men were acquitted in separate retrials. Jeffrey Moldowan's acquittal was in February 2003. Moldowan had always asserted his innocence and that he was with friends at the time of the attack. During his retrial a witness testified that he had given a statement to a police officer that he saw four African-American males standing over the naked body of the victim the night she was attacked, and that he later overheard two of the men bragging about assaulting her. The witnesses statement had not been disclosed by the prosecution to Moldowan or Cristini's lawyers prior to their trial in 1991. Cristini's acquittal was on April 8, 2004. He had always maintained he was at work in a pizza restaurant at the time of the attack, and his boss testified to that fact at his retrial. Cristini spent about 12-1-2 years wrongly imprisoned. Moldowan spent 12 years wrongly imprisoned. Moldowan filed a federal civil rights lawsuit in 2005 against Macomb County, the Prosecutor's Office, the City of Warren, a police detective, and the bite mark expert. On October 11, 2011 the City of Warren agreed to pay Moldowan $2.8 million to settle his lawsuit. On November 1, 2011 it was announced that Macomb County agreed to pay Moldowan $150,000 to settle his lawsuit. So Moldowan was compensated a total of $2.95 million. Moldowan also sued his former girlfriend who falsely accused him, but the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled he couldn't sue her. Cristini filed a federal civil rights lawsuit in 2007 that was pending as of early November 2011.

Conviction Caused By:

Erroneous testimony by the State's two expert witness that bite marks on the body matched both co-defendants. Erroneous eyewitness identification by the victim.

Innocence Proved By:

Conviction reversed by the MI Supreme Ct in May 2002. Acquitted on retrial February 12, 2003.

Defendant Aided By:

Compensation Awarded:

$2.95 million total ($2.8 million by the City of Warren in October 2011. $150,000 by Macomb County in November 2011.)

Was Perpetrator Found?

Age When Imprisoned:

21

Age When Released:

33

Information Source 1:

Man is cleared in rape retrial, Amber Hunt Martin and Alexa Capeloto (staff), Detroit Free Press, April 9, 2004.

Information Location 1:

Information Source 2:

Wrongly convicted man, Macomb County settle, By Charles E. Ramirez (staff), The Detroit News, November 2, 2011

Information Location 2:

http://www.detnews.com/article/20111102/METRO03/111020361/1409/metro/Wrongly-convicted-man--Macomb-County-settle

Information Source 3:

Warren settles rape case lawsuit for $2.8M, By Serena Maria Daniels (staff writer), The Detroit News, October 19, 2011

Information Location 3:

http://www.detnews.com/article/20111019/METRO03/110190345/1412/METRO03/Warren-settles-rape-case-lawsuit-for-$2.8M

Information Source 4:

Warren Settles Rape Case Lawsuit For $2.8 Million, By Ed White (Associated Press), Detroit Legal News, October 19, 2011

Information Location 4:

http://www.legalnews.com/detroit/1109085

Information Source 5:

Information Location 5:

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Innocents Database Created and Maintained by Hans Sherrer innocents@forejustice.org