Grand Jury Lies Blamed |for Nine Months in Jail


     CHICAGO (CN) – A Cicero man spent nearly a year in jail trying to make bail because a detective lied to the grand jury, he claims in Federal Court.
     Ruben Hernandez says Cicero police arrested him on Jan. 8, 2011, for an aggravated battery committed earlier that day.
     In a Jan. 9 line-up at the station, witnesses to the attack failed to identify Hernandez as one of the assailants, according to the federal complaint Hernandez filed Thursday.
     Hernandez says the victim also failed to pick him out of five photo line-ups that day.
     No prosecutor informed the circuit court about these line-ups at the Jan. 10 bail hearing, however, and a judge set Hernandez’s bail at $100,000, according to the complaint.
     Hernandez says Cicero detective Luis Gonzalez conducted the line-ups in question, but that the officer told a different story when he testified before the Cook County grand jury on Jan. 27.
     “Detective Gonzalez testified that plaintiff was identified as one of [the victim’s] attackers on Jan. 8, 2011, knowing that statement to be false,” the complaint states.
     Hernandez allegedly did not make bail until Sept. 25, 2011.
     It took nearly two years for Hernandez to have the indictment against him dismissed, according to the complaint.
     Hernandez says he “argued his motion to dismiss based on the fact that Detective Gonzalez lied to the grand jury.”
     “No probable cause existed without Detective Gonzalez’s lie, and plaintiff would not have been indicted,” the complaint states.
     “Plaintiff was incarcerated for nine months and 17 days based on Detective Gonzalez’s lie.”
     Hernandez blames the false charges against him on a conspiracy between Cicero’s police officers and detectives.
     “In furtherance of this conspiracy, defendant officers filled out and filed incomplete police reports relative to the arrest,” the complaint states.
     Hernandez says Cicero’s malicious acts humiliated him, caused lost wages, and left him with panic attacks because of the false arrest.
     He seeks punitive damages for conspiracy, false imprisonment, malicious prosecution and other claims.
     Hernandez is represented by Charles Zuganelis with Zuganelis and Zuganelis.
     Cicero has seen its name in lights on a different score the last few months, as an occasional setting for AMC’s new “Breaking Bad” spinoff, “Better Call Saul.”

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