Geraldo Iglesias was wrongfully convicted in 1993 for the murder of Monica Roman and spent 16 years in prison. When Iglesias was locked up he was in his early twenties, working in a gang prevention program and trying to get his GED. He said the biggest cost to being behind bars for a crime he didn’t commit was the toll it took on his relationship with his son, who was just a year old when Iglesias went to prison.
Iglesias is now suing Reynaldo Guevara, the retired Chicago Police detective who Iglesias says framed him. Iglesias is one of more than a dozen men who were exonerated after being convicted based on investigations conducted by Guevara. The lawsuit says Iglesias’ “wrongful conviction was just part of a now well-known pattern of illegal activity.”
“He is walking around like nothing happened. I lost my life,” said Iglesias.
According to lawyers for Iglesias, there was no physical evidence connecting him to the murder and the jailhouse informant who implicated him “has since testified that his statements were false and that Defendant Guevara and his colleagues beat him, threatened him, and fed him facts to ensure that he told their story.”
Attorneys for Guevara did not respond to calls for comment but in previous court testimony, Guevara has repeatedly pleaded the fifth, exerting his right to not incriminate himself, and has refused to answer questions about his conduct as a detective.
Anand Swaminathan, a lawyer for Iglesias, said Guevara is another Jon Burge, referencing the Chicago police commander with a legacy of torturing more than 100 black men.
“[Iglesias] lost 17 years of his life. Reynaldo Guevara is collecting a pension from the taxpayers of Chicago. That’s not right, what will the city do about it?” said Swaminathan.
Correction: An earlier version of this story misspelled Geraldo Iglesias’ name.