A retired Chicago police detective invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination more than 200 times during testimony Tuesday in a wrongful conviction case, reports said.
Reynaldo Guevara, 75, and other officers are being sued by a man who spent more than 20 years behind bars before being cleared of murder charges in 2012.
The plaintiff, Jacques Rivera, 52, could potentially be awarded tens of millions of dollars if his lawsuit is successful, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
The city has already paid out more than $670 million in police misconduct cases over the past 15 years.
The city of Chicago has already paid out more than $670 million in police misconduct cases over the past 15 years.
Guevara has long refused to answer questions under oath about the case, the newspaper reported. During Tuesday’s testimony, he answered questions about his name, age and children. But as questions turned to the substance of the case, Guevara started to give the same answer, the Sun-Times reported.
“Upon advice of my counsel, I respectfully decline to answer the questions on the ground that I’m being compelled to be a witness against myself,” Guevara said roughly 30 times, before eventually changing his reply to “Same answer,” the report said.
According to the Rivera’s lawsuit, Guevara coerced a 12-year-old boy — the only witness in the case -- into identifying Rivera as the gunman. That witness, Orlando Lopez, recanted his testimony years later, the Chicago Tribune reported.
Including Rivera, 18 inmates have had their convictions thrown out over allegations of misconduct by Guevara, with eight other federal lawsuits pending, according to authorities.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.