Man Cleared of Pregnant Woman’s Attack Sues

     BROOKLYN (CN) — A New Yorker wrongly accused of helping his friend beat a very pregnant woman in her building lobby to make her miscarry has filed a federal suit against the city.
     Elijah Green says he’s had to drop out of college amid the maelstrom of attention the incident received before surveillance footage proved he had nothing to do with the horrific attack.
     Mia Jones had identified Green as one of two masked assailants who punched and kicked her in the face and stomach as she entered her East New York apartment building one March day in 2014.
     The 34-year-old was seven months pregnant at the time and miscarried. In addition to sustaining two eye fractures, Jones had to have her fetus removed via caesarean.
     Days after police arrested the baby’s father for the attack, they hauled in Green and accused him of being the second assailant.
     In his May 18 federal lawsuit against the city and one detective, Green says Jones picked him out after trawling the Instagram page of her arrested boyfriend, Torey Branch.
     Though Jones allegedly claimed to recognize Green from a picture at a nightclub taken on the night of the attack, Green notes that she initially told police that both of the men who beat her had been wearing ski masks and tightened hoods.
     Green even has a “distinctive eye condition,” according to the complaint, but “Jones would later say that she recognized plaintiff because of this distinction.”
     Police disregarded Green’s alibi and credited Jones’ ID, even though they knew she “had suffered blows to her head and eyes and that she was suffering from intense emotional and psychological trauma that would prevent her from making an accurate and reliable identification of the second assailant,” the complaint states.
     After Green lawyered up to the tune of $10,000, and posted $57,000 bond to get out of jail, video footage of the attack from multiple cameras exonerated him.
     Green says he is taller than Branch, but “it is visibly obvious [from the footage] that the second perpetrator is significantly smaller than Torey Branch.”
     By then, however, Green says he had been muscled out of the College of New Rochelle at the urging of the college’s administrator.
     After prosecutors dropped all charges against Green, Jones testified that she “felt bad” her mistake had gotten Green arrested, according to media reports.
     Branch received a 32-year prison sentence after he was convicted him of abortion, burglary and assault.
     Jurors had heard at the trial that Branch had tried to make Jones get an abortion, and that he had used Google in the weeks before the attack to search questions like “Can being hit in the stomach cause a miscarriage?” and “What happens if a pregnant woman gets hit in the stomach?”
     Green now wants damages, saying violations of his civil rights led him to be “prosecuted for a heinous crime for which he was completely innocent.”
     He is represented by Alexis Padilla in Brooklyn.
     The New York City Police Department did not respond to a request for comment Friday morning.

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