BAKERSFIELD, Calif. – A California county will pay $5.5 million to a man who spent nearly 20 years in prison after being wrongly convicted of child molestation.
Kern County supervisors approved the settlement for John Stoll in a closed session Tuesday.
Stoll was one of 46 people charged for their alleged roles in child molestation rings in 1982-86. Twenty-four of the 27 convictions, many of which involved no physical evidence, have been reversed as witnesses recanted stories and investigators' techniques were questioned.
Stoll was freed in 2004 after five of his six alleged victims said they lied. He filed a federal lawsuit against the county.
Stoll and other defendants are the subject of the 2008 documentary "Witch Hunt" produced and narrated by actor Sean Penn.