Wrongfully convicted ex-cop dealt legal blow

generic prison cell 1997 ap
FILE - 1997. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston)

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) – A federal judge has thrown out a $9 million jury award in the case of a former Vancouver, Washington, police officer who spent nearly 20 years in prison after being wrongfully convicted of sexually abusing his children.

The Columbian reports that US District Judge Benjamin Settle of Tacoma vacated the decision Wednesday in the case of Clyde Ray Spencer. The judge says there was insufficient evidence presented at trial to show that two former Clark County sheriff’s officers had violated Spencer’s constitutional rights. The judge also said that jurors were given erroneous instructions. The judge called for a second trial if Spencer sought an award.

From his home in California, Spencer said he was “extremely puzzled” by the judge’s decision. Spencer says his lawyer plans to appeal to the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals.

Spencer spent nearly two decades in prison before the charges against him were vacated on appeal and dismissed in 2010. He won his false imprisonment lawsuit last February.

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Information from: The Columbian, http://www.columbian.com

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