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Jury Awards $1.7 Million in Wrongful Rape Arrest

November 04, 2000

LONG BEACH — A federal jury awarded $1.7 million on Friday to a 34-year-old man who was wrongfully arrested two years ago in connection with a series of rapes of older, single women in the Belmont Shore and Naples areas.

The six-member jury in Los Angeles deliberated two hours in the compensation phase of the suit, filed by Jeffrey Allen Grant against two Long Beach detectives who arrested him.

Grant, who was an adult softball coordinator for the city of Long Beach at the time, was arrested in October 1998 after forensic evidence, eyewitnesses and bloodhounds linked him to some of the nine attacks between May 1997 and September 1998. "These officers did not go out there on a lark," Long Beach Deputy City Atty. William A. William Reidder told the jury Friday in his closing argument.

But four months after Grant's arrest, DNA tests exonerated him in two of the assaults, including one in which the bloodhound had traced the suspect's scent to Grant.

Grant has said the three days between his arrest and the time he was charged left him emotionally scarred.

The jurors found in August that Grant had been wrongfully arrested. Neither Grant nor his attorney, John D. Mallah, could be reached for comment.

Long Beach police spokesman Officer David Marander declined to speak about the case or the award because of "outstanding issues." Reidder also declined to comment Friday afternoon, other than to say that "it's not over yet."

A Dec. 12 hearing is scheduled on whether the officers are immune from a false arrest lawsuit because they believed they had probable cause.

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