Jailed at age 17, George Perrot is one of the longest-imprisoned, wrongfully convicted people in nation’s history
January 25, 2018 – Boston, MA – Attorneys for George Perrot, who suffered one of the longest wrongful imprisonments in the nation’s history, today sued the City of Springfield, MA, an assistant district attorney, and numerous Springfield police officers and FBI agents in federal court.
A lifetime in prison faced the then-17-year-old thanks to an “arrest, prosecution, and conviction [which] were based entirely on false evidence manufactured by the Defendants,” according to the suit, filed by Loevy & Loevy Attorneys at Law, a national civil rights law firm based in Chicago.
Law enforcement officers deliberately planted gloves, hair and other phony evidence, and hid and destroyed exculpatory evidence, in order to secure Perrot’s wrongful conviction. The prosecutor on the case was censured for his role in forging Perrot’s signature on a completely phony “confession.”
The victim of the crime never identified Perrot as the perpetrator against her, and resisted repeated attempts by police to have her wrongfully finger him. The real criminal, an apparent serial rapist who raped the then-78-year-old victim and numerous other elderly women in Springfield over a three year period, was never caught.
“Rather than do the work necessary to identify the perpetrator, the Defendants, individually and jointly, short-circuited the investigatory process and wrongfully targeted Plaintiff in an effort to simply close the case,” said the suit. “Because there was no evidence linking Plaintiff to the crime, the Defendants fabricated evidence and withheld exculpatory evidence in an effort to frame Plaintiff for a crime he did not commit.”
After using prolonged sleep deprivation, and repeatedly beating and threatening to kill him, the officers falsely claimed that they had secured a confession from Perrot. No parent, attorney or court officer was present during the youth’s interrogation, nor was there any electronic recording of it. Despite her repeated requests, Perrot’s mother was denied access to her son during the dozen-hour-long interrogation. In addition to the fabricated confession, Perrot was convicted based on an FBI agent saying that a single hair found in the victim’s bedroom matched Perrot’s hair. The FBI has since publicly admitted that there was no legitimate scientific basis for that testimony.
Weeks after the arrest, then-District Attorney Matthew Ryan said that Perrot’s arrest would “result in the lessening of these types of offenses.” Yet that very evening an 80-year-old woman was raped and murdered in Springfield. Even though another man later confessed to these latest crimes and better matched the description that the 78-year-old gave of her attacker, the District Attorney’s office continued with its prosecution of Perrot.
On October 18, 2017, prosecutors finally dropped the charges against Perrot, stating that “the interests and administration of justice are best served by the termination of prosecution of this matter.”
Perrot is represented by Debra Loevy, Gayle Horn, Tony Balkissoon, Steve Art and Jon Loevy of the Chicago-based civil rights law firm, Loevy & Loevy Attorneys at Law. Loevy & Loevy is one of the nation’s largest civil rights law firms, and over the past decade has won more multi-million dollar jury verdicts than any other civil rights law firm in the country. A copy of the suit, George Perrot v. Thomas Kelly, et al., No 1:18-cv-10147 is available here.