Guevara and other Chicago police officers used the same jailhouse informant to frame five innocent men
CHICAGO – In what has become an avalanche of suits exposing the misconduct of Chicago Police Detective Reynaldo Guevara and the immeasurable harm that he and his colleagues have inflicted on citizens of Chicago, today a 19th person exonerated after serving decades in prison for a crime he did not commit has filed a federal lawsuit against Detective Guevara and the City of Chicago.
In 1993, Geraldo Iglesias was a young father caring for his newborn son in the Logan Square neighborhood of Chicago. Without warning or any legitimate evidence tying him to the crime, Iglesias was swept away by Chicago police officers to serve 16 years in prison for a murder he did not commit.
The wrongful conviction of Mr. Iglesias was based on false evidence and perjured testimony manufactured by Detective Guevara and his colleagues. A jailhouse informant, arrested by police and facing more than 100 years in prison for his own alleged crimes, provided false statements implicating Mr. Iglesias after physical abuse and threats by Detective Guevara. When questioned under oath about his efforts to frame Mr. Iglesias, Detective Guevara did not deny the misconduct, and instead repeatedly asserted his Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate himself by answering the questions truthfully. It would take a quarter century before Iglesias was exonerated.
Since the mid-1980s, more than 70 cases have come to light in which Chicago police officers fabricated and suppressed evidence in order to cause the wrongful convictions of innocent citizens for serious crimes they did not commit. Detective Guevara’s misconduct now accounts for a significant portion of the known wrongful convictions in Chicago’s recent history.
In 2017, Cook County Judge James Obbish found that Detective Guevara had told “bald face lies” during court testimony and had “eliminated any possibility of being considered a credible witness in any proceeding.” During a 2018 federal trial, Detective Guevara asserted his 5th Amendment right more than 200 times. A jury returned a $17 million jury verdict against Detective Guevara, as well as his partner and supervisor. The jury also found that the Chicago Police Department maintained unconstitutional policies and practices that invited the misconduct of Detective Guevara and his colleagues. Through this lawsuit, Mr. Iglesias hopes to shed further light on a Chicago Police Department culture that permitted Detective Guevara and his colleagues to engage in such rampant misconduct for so long.
Mr. Iglesias will speak at a 1 PM press conference today at the offices of his lawyers, Loevy & Loevy Attorneys at Law, 311 N. Aberdeen Street, 3rd floor, Chicago. He is represented by attorneys Arthur Loevy, Jon Loevy, Anand Swaminathan, Steven Art, Joshua Tepfer, Rachel Brady and Sean Starr. Loevy & Loevy is one of the nation’s largest civil rights law firms and has won more multi-million-dollar jury verdicts than any other civil rights law firm in the country.
A copy of today’s suit, Geraldo Iglesias v. Reynaldo Guevara, Ernest Halvorsen, Steve Gawrys, A. Riccio, Robert Biebel and the City of Chicago, No. 1:19-cv-06508, can be found here.