DETROIT (AP) — The city of Detroit has been ordered to pay $1.1 million to a man who was charged with murder as a 14-year-old and spent nearly two years in juvenile detention.
Caleb Sosa, now 19, was acquitted in 2009 and finally released. He subsequently sued Detroit police, claiming officers violated his civil rights by coercing him to sign a confession that he couldn't even read.
The lawsuit ended in a very unusual way. Federal Judge Sean Cox found the city in default after lawyers failed to file a timely response to the allegations. He then awarded $1.1 million to Sosa and $80,000 to his mother after they testified about police abuses.
Detroit's chief lawyer, Krystal Crittendon, acknowledged that the judge found mistakes in the city's handling of the lawsuit.