Cost Of 5 Years’ Wrongful Imprisonment: $662,000


Nathaniel Lewis, a former University of Akron freshman whose rape conviction was overturned because of passages written in his accuser’s diary, has received a record $662,000 settlement from the state of Ohio, reports the Akron Beacon Journal. Lewis, who is working for a rental car company, said he is hoping to be hired as a corrections officer with the state of Michigan. He is also pursing a professional football career that was blocked by the years he spent in prison.

In 1997, Lewis was convicted of raping a coed and was sentenced to eight years in prison. In 2002, a federal court ordered a new trial. The court ruled that a trial judge was wrong not to let jurors hear about passages taken from the diary of Lewis’ accuser. The diary, contains writings that Lewis’s attorneys believe suggest the accuser was a jilted lover seeking to punish Lewis for all the men who had used her for sex. Lewis said their five-minute sexual encounter was consensual. “I think I pounced on Nate because he was the last straw,” said the woman. “I’m sick of men taking advantage of me.”


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