08/09/2003. Contributed by Jessica Martin
Fantasy author Michael Shea is suing the U.S. Sonoma County authority for false arrest and civil rights violations.
This follows the Sonoma County Judge chucking out charges against Michael Shea - for lack of evidence - after he was accused of molesting a boy in a local park. Shea could have faced a life sentence if he had been convicted.
In his Superior Court legal suit Shea alleges that the Sheriff's Department massaged the evidence and ignored details that would have got him off.
Shea was jogging outside the park when he was detained by police after a boy inside the green reported someone had tried to grab him, although the lad said he had fought the attacker off and escaped. The boy told detectives that he hadn't seen the assailant's face, but did describe a scar and tattoo on the thug's arm and hand.
Despite nobody having seen Shea inside the park (and his obvious lack of a tattoo on his arm), the police later arrested Shea after the boy ID'd a photograph of a scar on Shea as being that of his attacker.
Shea's lawyer says that in addition to incorrectly arresting the author, the police also failed to investigate major leads, such a suspicious man seen inside the park.
Shea is the author of various fantasy epics published by Baen such as The A'Rak, The Mines of Behemoth and The Incompleat Nifft.
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