Appeals court allows lawsuit to continue against former LMPD detective accused of wrongfully arresting 9 people
Former Detective Crystal Marlowe was fired in 2011 after an investigation showed she arrested several defendants – many of them juveniles – for crimes they did not commit.
LOUISVILLE, Ky., (WDRB) -- A 2010 lawsuit filed by nine people who claim a former Louisville Metro police detective arrested them for crimes they could not have committed has been allowed to move forward toward trial, the Kentucky Appeals Court ruled on Friday.
Former Detective Crystal Marlowe was fired in 2011 after an investigation showed she arrested several defendants -- many of them juveniles -- for crimes they did not commit.
The lawsuit has lingered in court for years on several motions to dismiss, but the appeals court ruled there was enough evidence supporting the claim of malicious prosecution against Marlowe for the case to move forward for all nine plaintiffs.
Additional claims were dismissed against Marlowe for some defendants and allowed to remain for others.
The lawsuit accuses Marlowe of lying in court or coercing false identifications from witnesses, leading to wrongful arrests.
The appeals court on Friday also "strongly" suggested that a Jefferson Circuit Court judge try each plaintiff separately as "each case is complicated" and has "different facts, acts, and events forming the basis of the alleged claims."
Attorney Ryan Vantrease, who represents the plaintiffs, said he is "pleased" that the case was allowed to continue for all the alleged victims.
"We look forward to resuming the litigation of their claims," he said.
An attorney for Marlowe did not immediately return a phone message seeking comment.
Marlowe was fired in January 2011 for what then-Police Chief Robert White called "blatant disregard" for departmental rules. White was initially named as a defendant in the lawsuit but later dismissed.
The Courier-Journal reported in a series of articles in 2010 that Marlowe arrested more than a dozen people over a two-year period who could not have committed the crime, either because they were already in jail at the time or had other evidence of their innocence.
In December 2007, for example, Marlowe issued an arrest warrant for University of Louisville student Tiffany Washington after the detective said a robbery victim was able to "positively ID" her as one of three perpetrators, according to the newspaper.
But Washington had bank statements, pictures, telephone records and eyewitness testimony showing that she was in Henderson County, 130 miles away, on the night of the robbery.
Washington spent five days in jail before her $50,000 cash bond was reduced to an amount she was able to post, the paper reported. Her charges were eventually dismissed.
The appeals court has sent the case back to Jefferson Circuit Court Judge Audra Eckerle.
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