Man imprisoned for decades sues police, FBI after release

A Massachusetts man who spent more than three decades in prison for a rape he says he didn’t commit has filed a federal lawsuit accusing law enforcement officials of conspiring to frame him by planting phoney evidence and coercing false statements that were used against him.

George Perrot was 17 in 1985 when he was arrested and charged with raping a 78-year-old Mary Prekop in Springfield, Massachusetts. Perrot, whose conviction was based in part on a single strand of hair, was released from prison in 2016 after a judge said he’s “reasonably sure” Perrot is innocent and found an FBI agent’s testimony about microscopic hair evidence to be flawed.

Perrot’s attorneys say in the lawsuit filed Thursday that law enforcement officers beat and threatened to kill Perrot after his arrest, planted gloves and the hair at the crime scene and withheld evidence that could have helped him. His attorneys allege that officials knew the hair analysis used to secure Perrot’s conviction was “junk science” but pressed forward anyway.

“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,” his attorneys say in the lawsuit against Springfield, several city police officers, a prosecutor and FBI agents.

Ed Pikula, Springfield city solicitor, said Friday that he had not yet reviewed the lawsuit and could not comment. Representatives for the FBI and Hampden district attorney’s office didn’t immediately respond to messages.

The U.S. Justice Department flagged Perrot’s case in 2014 as one of hundreds that involved erroneous statements from FBI agents about hair analysis. The FBI now acknowledges the science is not conclusive and uses it only in conjunction with DNA testing.

Prosecutors dismissed charges against Perrot in October, saying “the interests and administration of justice are best served by the termination of prosecution of this matter.”

Prekop repeatedly said the man who beat and raped her didn’t have any facial hair. On the night of the attack, Nov. 30, 1985, Perrot had a beard and a moustache. When Prekop was shown Perrot’s lineup photo during his trial and was asked if he was her attacker, she replied, “How can I say it when this man has a moustache and a beard?”

Perrot, who had been sentenced to life in prison, is seeking unspecified damages. Tony Balkissoon, an attorney with the Chicago-based firm Loevy & Loevy, which is representing Perrot, said the man hopes his lawsuit brings the justice his criminal trial failed to deliver.

“He was incarcerated for 30 years, during a period of his life when most of us are building careers, building families and learning how to navigate the world as an adult,” Balkissoon said. “Hopefully the civil lawsuit, where everything comes to light, will bring him some sense of justice,” he said.

Just Posted

Photos: Red Deer barn dance entertains children, adults Tuesday

Hundreds of Central Albertans started their Westerner Days celebrations early with an… Continue reading

Manslaughter charge laid against Red Deer man more than a year after homicide

A manslaughter charge has been laid against a Red Deer man, more… Continue reading

Woman facing charges after pedestrian critically injured in hit and run

A woman is in custody in connection with an alleged hit and… Continue reading

Friday hail storm came at a bad time for farmers

Amount of damage a hail storm does often depends on how far along crops are

Photos: Red Deer barn dance entertains children, adults Tuesday

Hundreds of Central Albertans started their Westerner Days celebrations early with an… Continue reading

Man suffers critical injuries, Red Deer police arrest woman in pedestrian crash

A man is in hospital with critical injuries and Mounties have arrested… Continue reading

Cull hasn’t been able to solve bunny burden in Alberta mountain town of Canmore

CANMORE, Alta. — Problems persist in an Alberta mountain town overrun with… Continue reading

Canada should help Holocaust denier on trial in Germany: civil liberties group

OTTAWA — A civil liberties group is urging the Canadian government to… Continue reading

Westerner Days: Send us your photos

Your reader photo may just make the pages of the Adovcate.

Adam Henrique signs $29.1M, 5-year extension with Ducks

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Centre Adam Henrique has signed a $29.1 million, five-year… Continue reading

Fashion firms upend design routine to focus on speed, trends

NEW YORK — Prototypes? Passe. Fashion company Betabrand saw that knitwear was… Continue reading

Trimming and tidying: Perennials need care too

The great attraction in growing perennial flowers is that you never have… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month