April 18, 2014

Partly cloudy

State to pay $2.6M to Cleveland man wrongly imprisoned 29 years

COLUMBUS — Ohio has agreed to pay a nearly $2.6 million settlement to a Cleveland man imprisoned almost 30 years for a rape he did not commit.

Fifty-three-year-old Ray Towler had been convicted of sexually assaulting an 11-year-old girl during the abduction of two children at a Cleveland area park in 1981. He was cleared by a DNA test and left prison last May.

Towler was one of 30 inmates profiled in a 2008 series by The Columbus Dispatch about holdups in applications for new DNA testing.

His settlement was approved Monday by the Ohio Controlling Board. Towler is expected to get the money in about a week.

He told the Dispatch no amount can make up for 30 years. He said he plans to keep moving forward with his life.