Freed After 20 Years, Man Sues Chicago

     CHICAGO (CN) – Exonerated after serving 20 years of a 60-year sentence for deviant sexual assault, a man sued Chicago and two police detectives, claiming they withheld evidence, falsely testified at his trial and manipulated a victim.
     Patrick Hampton sued the Chicago and its police Officers Michael Duffin and Thomas Ptak in Federal Court.
     “Plaintiff Patrick Hampton spent twenty (20) years in prison for crimes that he did not commit. At the time of his arrest, Mr. Hampton was only eighteen (18) years old and had no criminal history of any kind,” the complaint states.
     Hampton attended a “Holiday Jam” concert at the Chicago International Amphitheatre, on Dec. 29, 1981. While the band Zapp, was playing, “a large group of individuals marched up the aisle toward the stage, chanting ‘Black Gangster Disciples’ and ‘Third World Disciple Nation,’ pounding their fists together, and throwing up gang signs with their hands,” the complaint states.
     “Three young Latino concertgoers, two women (referred to as ‘D.M.’ and ‘M.N.’) and a man (‘H.N.’) were attacked by this group while they tried to get away.
     “The mob physically battered the three victims, stripped them of their clothing, took their wallets and jewelry, and sexually assaulted D.M. and M.N.,” according to the complaint. (Parentheses in complaint.)
     Hampton says he never was a gang member, did not participate in the assaults and that “The victims did not provide the police with any physical descriptions of their assailants except that they were black males.”
     Hampton was arrested and accused of attacking D.M. and trying to “force a cold, hard object into her vagina,” a three-judge panel of the 7th Circuit wrote, affirming the District Court’s grant of habeas corpus due to ineffective assistance of counsel, including “failing to investigate and interview exculpatory eyewitnesses to the crimes of which he was convicted.”
     In his complaint, Hampton says: “Throughout the prosecution and re-prosecution of Mr. Hampton, defendants Duffin and Ptak intentionally concealed exculpatory evidence including the fabricated identification of plaintiff. Defendants further concealed the circumstances surrounding their fabrication of false evidence against Mr. Hampton.
     “Defendant Duffin gave false and perjurious testimony in the Cook County Grand Jury in order to obtain a True Bill of Indictment against Mr. Hampton.
     “Defendant Ptak directly fabricated evidence against Mr. Hampton and withheld exculpatory evidence from the State’s Attorney’s Office and Mr. Hampton.”
     Hampton claims the detectives “showed D.M. several Polaroid photographs and drew her attention to the photograph of Patrick Hampton to get her to identify him as one of her assailants despite the fact that she did not do so on her own.”
     “D.M.’s false identification of Mr. Hampton at his 1982 trial and description of the sexual assault was the basis for the trial judge’s finding that the assault was ‘accompanied by exceptionally brutal or heinous behavior indicative of wanton cruelty’ and the extended term sentence of sixty (60) years imprisonment imposed on Mr. Hampton,” the complaint states.
     At trial, D.M. testified that she did not get a good look at her assailant because “she was concentrating on the faces of the men who tried to put their penises in her mouth,” the 7th Circuit found.
     Hampton was convicted in 1982 of deviate sexual assault, attempted rape, aggravated battery and robbery.
     After serving 20 years, U. S. District Judge Matthew Kennelly granted Hampton’s petition for habeas corpus, and ordered his release. The 7th Circuit affirmed.
     In 2011, Cook County re-interviewed the victims to retry Hampton.
     “These interviews revealed misconduct committed by defendants in their campaign to frame Mr. Hampton for crimes that he did not commit,” Hampton says in his complaint. He claims spent 20 years behind bars because of “the fabrication, manipulation, and concealment of evidence by defendants.”
     He claims Chicago failed to properly supervise its police force throughout the 1980s and 1990s, and systematically withheld information from the defense in “street files.”
     “As a matter of widespread custom and practice, these secretive ‘street files’ were routinely withheld from the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office and from criminal defendants, and were subsequently destroyed,” Hampton says.
     He seeks punitive damages for violation of due process, failure to intervene, conspiracy, malicious prosecution and emotional distress.
     He is represented by Amanda Antholt, with Smith, Johnson & Antholt, and Jonathan Brayman, with Breen & Pugh.

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