Guevara Beat Arturo Reyes and Threatened Him
With Electric Chair to Get Coerced Confession
CHICAGO – Arturo Reyes, a wrongfully convicted man who served 19 years in maximum security prison, today filed a federal lawsuit charging that disgraced former Chicago Police Detective Reynaldo Guevara and others fabricated a false confession from him through physical violence, psychological abuse, and a days-long interrogation.
Reyes was wrongly convicted of a 1988 double murder and child abduction in Chicago. His suit comes two months after his exoneration, which occurred when Cook County Judge James Obbish dismissed murder charges against him. From the bench, Obbish excoriated Guevara, accusing him of telling “bald faced lies” while under oath in his testimony denying misconduct in Reyes’ case.
Also named in the suit are other Chicago police officers and Cook County prosecutors involved in the interrogations of Reyes, his co-defendant Gabriel Solache, and other witnesses. The suit charges that during a grueling 40-hour interrogation, Det. Guevara repeatedly hit Reyes and threatened him with the electric chair. Det. Guevara and other Chicago Police allegedly also abused other individuals to get them to wrongly implicate Reyes in the crime.
The suit notes that, despite a grisly murder scene full of blood, fingerprints and other physical evidence, none of it connected Reyes to the crime. In addition, post-conviction DNA testing on evidence at the scene further excluded Reyes and instead placed an unidentified person at the crime scene.
Over his nearly two decades of imprisonment, Reyes has consistently maintained his innocence. He is one of 14 men to have their convictions thrown out based on allegations that Det. Guevara engaged in misconduct in order to convict them.
For his part, Det. Guevara has invoked his Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate himself when asked in court proceedings whether he framed and abused Reyes.
Mr. Reyes is represented by Attorneys Jon Loevy, Steven Art and Anand Swaminathan of the civil rights firm Loevy & Loevy. The attorneys issued the following statement:
“The wrongful convictions caused by Detective Guevara’s misconduct as a police officer have destroyed dozens of families and have led to literally hundreds of years of wrongful imprisonment. But the horrible injustice that Arturo has endured must be attributed not only to the criminal acts of Detective Guevara, but also to his colleagues who knew what he was doing and often participated, as well as a police department that permitted and in fact incentivized the misconduct of Guevara and others.”
Loevy & Loevy is one of the nation’s largest civil rights law firms, and over the past decade has won more multi-million dollar jury verdicts than any other civil rights law firm in the country. A copy of the suit, Arturo Reyes v. City of Chicago, et al., No. 1:18-cv-01028, is available here.