CHICAGO (CN) – A Chicago attorney claims law enforcement officials in Madison County and Chicago used an illegal wiretap and submitted false affidavits to maliciously prosecute him on sexual assault charges.
Meanith Huon, 41, was acquitted of the charges by a Madison County jury last year. He seeks compensatory damages and $130 million in punitive damages, which is approximately Madison County’s annual budget.
Madison County, in Southern Illinois, is northeast of St. Louis.
Prosecutors claimed Huon sexually assaulted a woman in July 2008 after meeting her in St. Louis under the guise of a job interview for promotions work.
The woman claimed she met Huon after responding to his ad on Craigslist.
The two had drinks before Huon allegedly fondled her and demanded oral sex from her as he drove. She escaped by jumping from his moving vehicle, according to testimony from the criminal trial.
Jurors deliberated for about two hours before issuing a not guilty verdict.
According to Huon’s 48-page, pro se complaint: “In 2008, Mr. Huon was charged with two counts of sexual assault, two counts of sexual abuse, one count of unlawful restraint. The complaining witness, Jane Doe, alleged that while Mr. Huon was driving on Interstate 55 at highway speeds, he ‘yelled’ to her to ‘suck his dick’ and that she allegedly performed oral sex while he continued to drive. There are no other allegations of force or threat of force.”
In his federal complaint, Huon claims Madison County sheriff’s detectives and prosecutors acted improperly; that an affidavit supporting a search warrant for his apartment did not mention that the woman was employed by an escort service; that prosecutors withheld evidence of innocence; that law enforcement officials targeted minorities for false arrest; and that former Madison County State’s Attorney William Mudge was motivated by his candidacy for judge.
“The pattern of constitutional violations for maliciously prosecuting individuals without regard to guilt or innocence was known by defendant Mudge, or should have been known by him, such that there was an obvious need to take some action to control, supervise, discipline, train, investigate, or intervene so that these constitutional violations would cease to occur,” the complaint states.
Huon claims that Mudge’s failure to control, supervise, discipline, train, investigate, or intervene with prosecutors constituted deliberate indifference to prosecutors’ unconstitutional practices, including failing to turn over exculpatory evidence, and maliciously prosecuting him.
“Indeed, the constitutional violations in this case were the direct result of defendants’ general policy of securing convictions through overly aggressive tactics and a specific policy in this case of doing whatever was necessary to secure a conviction and sentence motivated by the high-profile nature of the crime and the political motivation,” the complaint states.
The 14 defendants include Madison County, the Madison County Sheriff’s Department, the City of Chicago, the Chicago Police Department and several state’s attorneys and law enforcement officials.