'Targeted, hunted and pursued': Cal Harris files sweeping suit against Tioga officials
A year after being acquitted of his wife's murder, Cal Harris has filed a sweeping federal lawsuit against the people his attorney claims have "targeted, hunted and pursued" him over the course of a 15-year legal saga.
The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in a Syracuse federal court, faults dozens of people — including police investigators, district attorney officials, trial witnesses and 20 unnamed "Jane/John Does" — for malicious prosecution and civil rights violations.
Among the accusations: that police and prosecutors rushed to arrest Harris, now 55, without probable cause, fabricated evidence, and ruined his reputation during the 15 years since his estranged wife, Michele Harris, disappeared. In that time, the Spencer man was convicted twice of second-degree murder — both overturned — and spent more than three years in prison. A third trial ended in a deadlock, then a fourth trial judge found him not guilty.
Among defendants named in the lawsuit are former Tioga County District Attorney Gerald Keene, who is now county judge and prosecuted the initial two trials; New York State Police Investigator Steven Andersen, who offered testimony about forensic evidence during the trials; the current Tioga County District Attorney's Office; and other witnesses who testified for the prosecution.
Lawyers for the defendants are expected to file a response to the lawsuit at a later date. An initial conferAnthony Borrelli, firstname.lastname@example.org |
@PSBABorrelli Published 11:59 a.m. ET Aug. 25, 2017