Correction: The time Roger ‘Dean” Gillispie spent in prison was incorrectly reported. We apologize for this error and it has been corrected.
DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — A record verdict was announced Monday for a Fairborn man wrongfully accused of raping several women in the 1990s, awarding 57-year-old Roger ‘Dean’ Gillispie $45 million, the highest settlement in state history.
When he was 24 years old, he was accused of raping three women, a crime he says he never had anything to do with. Today, he was declared a wrongfully imprisoned person by the state of Ohio.
“My whole life has been in a courtroom, 20 years in prison and in a courtroom,” said Gillispie. “33 years ago I went to prison for a crime I absolutely had nothing to do with and today we proved that beyond a reasonable doubt, I’m completely innocent.”
In court, the jury found that a former Miami Township Police Detective suppressed exculpatory evidence that led to Gillispie’s conviction for raping multiple women.
The evidence at trial showed that the detective created an unfair lineup of potential suspects, claimed a witness had made an identification when they had not, destroyed evidence showing Gillispie was out of town camping in Kentucky when two of the crimes occurred and altered witness’s audio recordings. When he received a multi-million-dollar settlement, Gillispie says he thought of the victims who still don’t have answers.
“The community was not safe when I went to prison because the person who committed this crime was still out here doing it and continued to do it,” said Gillipsie. “I’m not the person, I have no animosity to these victims at all, they were done wrong and cheated out of things in life the same way I was because justice was not served for them.”
Gillispie was released in 2011 thanks to the Ohio Innocence Project. He spent 20 years of his life behind bars, time he says he will never get back but now, he’s focused on getting justice for other innocent prisoners.
“I’m not the first nor the last guy this is going to happen to, we have to fix this system to prevent this from happening,” said Gillispie.
Since his release, Gillispie now serves on the board of the Ohio Innocence Project and helps other formerly incarcerated people re-enter communities.
A copy of the suit, Dean Gillispie v. Miami Township & Matthew Scott Moore, case no. 3:13-cv-00413 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, is available here.