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A Web log for the Innocence Institute of Point Park University

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Settlement reached in Broward wrongful arrest lawsuit

This article appeared in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel on October 13, 2006:

Settlement reached in Broward wrongful arrest lawsuit

Associated Press

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - A settlement has been reached in a lawsuit filed against the Broward County Sheriff's Office by a man who was wrongly convicted and faced the death penalty for a 1986 murder he did not commit.

Broward County Circuit Judge Thomas M. Lynch IV has scheduled a hearing Oct. 27 on whether the settlement agreement with Carl Stephen Rosati should remain confidential. Rosati, 46, had rejected an offer of $500,000 to settle the case three years ago.

The lawsuit against the sheriff's office claimed that Sgt. Thomas Murray and former detectives Dominick Gucciardi and Steven Wiley illegally coerced a confession from Peter Dallas that implicated Rosati and Peter Roussonicolos.

The suit contended that investigators ignored a tape recording pointing to different men who ultimately were charged with the 1986 murder of Joe Viscido Jr., of Deerfield Beach. An independent prosecutor cleared Rosati and Roussonicolos after they spent 16 months in jail.

Mistrials were declared in Rosati's lawsuit in October 2003 and April 2004. Dallas settled for an undisclosed amount and a separate lawsuit filed by Roussonicolos is still pending.

Bruce Jolly, attorney for the sheriff's office and the two detectives, declined to acknowledge that a settlement had been reached.

"Pending the conclusion of the litigation, anything about any settlement remains confidential," Jolly said.

Rosati returned to his native Rhode Island after his release from jail. A message left on his answering machine seeking comment was not immediately returned Friday.
Information from: South Florida Sun-Sentinel


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