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TULSA, Okla. (CBS Houston) - A man who spent several months in prison on suspicion of raping a 4-year-old girl, only to be cleared by DNA evidence, is planning to sue the Creek County Sheriff’s Office over the ordeal.
The man, Tommy Braden, was arrested not long after the rape of the 4-year-old daughter of his girlfriend at the time, which took place April 6 of last year.
He was in prison for the crime until July 3, even though he denied any involvement and asked repeatedly for a DNA test, the Tulsa World is reporting.
“From day one he’s begging them to do a DNA test,” Braden’s attorney, Don Smolen, was quoted as saying. “They said they weren’t going to do that because it was a waste of taxpayers’ dollars.”
Ultimately, a test was performed, and a convict named Patrick Edward Misner was found guilty of the crime.
Soon after, Braden was released – for Smolen, it wasn’t soon enough.
“Three months later – after his life’s gone to hell – the results he’s been asking them to do comes up that he’s not the guy,” he said. “Why wouldn’t you do a DNA test? Even if it was him, why not do a test and confirm it? Why take three months?”
Braden and his girlfriend, who had broken up at the time of his arrest, are now married.
However, the Department of Human Services case seeking protection against Braden for the girlfriend’s daughter has not yet been dropped, and his time in prison led to depression and a 60-pound weight loss.
The Sheriff’s Office declined to comment to the World on any pending legal actions.
They reportedly have 90 days to respond to the complaint, though. If they do not, Braden and Smolen will move forward with civil rights lawsuit in federal court, the paper learned.