Middle Name Mix-Up Led To Wrong Man Being Arrested On Child Porn Charges While Actual Pedophile Went Free [VIDEO]

Billy Dean Rowe, a married father of four from Homer, Mich., sat in jail for three days in March 2011 before he was told that he was being held — falsely, it turned out — on child porn charges, and now he’s suing.

Making matters worse, the actual child porn viewer, the similarly-named Billy Joe Rowe, went scot-free because the case had gone past its statute of limitations.

The plaintiff in Rowe’s suit, the Michigan State Police, has contested claiming governmental immunity, but an appeals court denied the request and tossed it back to Calhoun County Circuit Court.

As WOOD-TV reports, the origins of the mix-up began back in March 2005 when Billy Joe Rowe’s brother had his computer seized during an arrest near Flint, Mich. Billy Joe Rowe, now 41 years old, had downloaded child porn on the computer, his brother said. Rowe admitted as much in an interview with now-retired Michigan State Police Trooper Dennis Milburn.

But for some unexplained reason, when Milburn filled out the police report, he listed a Billy Dean Rowe as the suspect.

Besides the different middle names and the nine-year age difference, the two Rowes lived 120 miles apart. The innocent Rowe is also 5’4″. The Rowe who admitted to having viewed the illicit images is 6’1″.

The case sat dormant for the next six years, for unknown reasons, but it was picked back up in 2011 by Michigan State Police Det. Ronald Ainslie because the case’s six-year statute of limitations was set to expire.

Because of that, Ainslie expedited the investigation, and a search of the computer found “numerous” child porn images.

Nine days later, on March 11, 2011, police arrived to Billy Dean Rowe’s home just as he was headed to work at Meijer, a meat factory. According to the appeals court’s write-up of the case, police have not turned over the arrest warrant so it is not known how the suspect was identified.

“They just showed up to my door and they asked me if I was Billy Rowe and I said yes,” he told WOOD-TV.

When officers told him had an arrest warrant out of Flint, Rowe said that he’d never been to the city. He also told the officers he doesn’t own a computer, according to the appeals court’s document.

“I asked him what it was for and they told me they couldn’t say. When I said, ‘Why am I going to Flint?’ he says, ‘You’ll find out when you get there.’”

Rowe didn’t make it to Flint for three days. He sat in Calhoun County jail all day Friday, Saturday and Sunday. He later found out that he had been fired from his job at Meijer, the meat factory he’d worked at for 15 years. Luckily, he was reinstated after the ordeal was cleared up.

After the jail stay, Rowe was transported the 110 miles to Flint where he finally learned he was being held on child porn charges.

During interrogation, Rowe said he was asked if he had ever lived with his mother near Flint.

“I said, ‘No, my mother’s dead, and she’d been dead a year before that even happened,’” Rowe told WOOD-TV.

Rowe also had no knowledge of other key aspects of the case, and because of that, “I became a bit concerned at that point,” Ainslie wrote in his report.

The detective then took a trip to the home of Billy Joe Rowe’s brother.

There, Ainslie interviewed the admitted child porn viewer’s mother and sister. They confirmed that the Billy Rowe in custody was not their relative. And when Ainslie reached Billy Joe Rowe by phone, he acknowledged that he had been interviewed by Milburn six years before.

Billy Dean Rowe was then transported from the Flint jail to a district court where charges against him were immediately dismissed.

State Troopers drove him back home, though he was still handcuffed with his hands behind his back, according to the appeals court document.

Prosecutors declined to file charges against Billy Joe Rowe because the statute of limitations had expired by the time the confusion was cleared up.

The falsely accused Rowe claims in his suit that he experienced chest pains and was admitted to the hospital shortly after arriving home. He also claims he developed nerve damage.

He also says that the Calhoun County jail billed Rowe for his three-day stay there.

source: http://dailycaller.com/2015/03/01/middle-name-mix-up-led-to-wrong-man-being-arrested-on-child-porn-charges-while-actual-pedophile-went-free-video/