A Washington state resident wrongly convicted of child sexual abuse in Utah has filed a U.S. District Court suit against the Box Elder County Sheriff's Department and sheriff's employees Richard Wilkins and Kenneth Adams.
Frank James Harvey asked for at least $50,000 in damages, with the exact amount to be determined at trial. On March 25, 1987, at a rest stop in Box Elder County, Harvey was arrested by Wilkins for the kidnapping and abuse of a 7-year-old Deweyville, Box Elder County, girl.After the arrest, Wilkins, Adams and others in the sheriff's department acted together to gather evidence in an attempt to establish Harvey's guilt, the suit says.
It claims they ignored leads and evidence that would support his innocence.
"Among other things, during the course of their investigation defendants created an unduly suggestive line-up involving the plaintiff's car and dog, engaged in suggestive questioning of the victim of the offense, and lost and destroyed evidence supportive of the plaintiff's innocence."
The suit claims the investigation was not done carefully, and that it was made with deliberate indifference to Harvey's rights, liberty, well-being and reputation.
He suffered loss of liberty, physical injuries, loss of property, distress, humiliation, damage to his reputation and loss of employment. It adds that he had to pay attorney's fees and related legal costs because of the false arrest.
A Utah resident was later arrested and Harvey was exonerated and released.