Ever since police mistook Eugene Robinson of Philadelphia for a wanted sex offender in 2008, he’s told anyone who would listen that they have the wrong guy, says the Philadelphia Daily News. Now, after a three-year struggle to clear his name, Robinson, 60, can breathe easier, even chuckle at the horrific mix-up that landed him in jail for a year and prompted his fiancee to leave. City lawyers admitted police made a mistake and agreed to settle a lawsuit filed by Robinson, paying him $85,000.
Robinson’s Kafkaesque nightmare began Aug. 4, 2008, when he opened up the Daily News and saw his mugshot under the headline “WEEK’S MOST WANTED.” Robinson sought help state Sen. Shirley Kitchen, who persuaded Robinson to turn himself in. “She probably thought that I’d be able to be heard once I got down there, but it didn’t work like that,” he says. The charge was dropped in January 2009 when the accuser failed to appear twice for a hearing. He served eight more months for failing to pay restitution in an earlier case. It is not clear how his mugshot got linked to an alleged rape by a different Eugene Robinson.