A Firefighter Falsely Accused Of Rape Speaks Exclusively To FOX 17

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Lee Finlayson, a captain with the Grand Rapids fire department, was arrested and locked up for two weeks after his girlfriend filed criminal charges against him including rape.

The charges were later dropped after evidence that the text messages used as evidence against him were fake.

Finlayson said he lost two weeks of his life and spent $10,000 trying to prove his innocence.

As firefighters go, Captain Finlayson is considered one of the best.  He was voted the 2011 Grand Rapids firefighter of the year.

In September however, he was arrested stemming from a warrant out of Pennsylvania.

“You are given absolutely zero information,” said Finlayson.  “Nobody will talk to you.”

He was looking at a total of six felony charges including rape and indecent assault.  The allegations coming from an ex-girlfriend who claimed to have incriminating text messages in which Finlayson admitted to the rape.

He said the evidence was fake, “Not a text message, a picture of a text message, who knows from where.”

Finlayson said he had evidence of his own.  Five voice-mail messages that were left on his phone days after the alleged rape.

But he said he would have to wait to show his evidence and attempt to clear his name, kept in jail awaiting extradition to Pennsylvania.

“I am nothing but one more individual wearing green,” said Finlayson.  “Walking through the jail for two weeks.”

Even though Finlayson was innocent he was starting to worry he may be convicted of a crime he didn’t commit.

He said it all started when he gave his accuser a loan for $3,000 in September.  Finlayson said after she got the money she filed a personal protection order against him then went to police with a fake text message conversation claiming rape, from there a warrant was issued for his arrest.

“Truly this was wrong.  There was no investigation done,” he said.

While Finlayson was in route to court in Pennsylvania the woman dropped the charges against him.  It may have ended his legal battle but Finlayson is doubtful the damage will ever be fully repaired.

“I will not recover,” he said. “Google my name today.”

His record is clean, but he said he was convicted in the court of public opinion.  He’s concerned how easily this could happen to someone else.

“And by someone who has nothing to do with you.  It can all be taken away and no one will care.  You will just drop into the system,” he said.

As for his girlfriend who filed charges, so far Finlayson said she hasn’t been charged with any crime.

He also said that he has filed a lawsuit against her in Pennsylvania.

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6 comments

  • tex2

    A financial rape everyone should be aware of is the Amway Tool Scam. Google "Stop The Amway Tool Scam WordPress" for more information, and forward this to every non-Distributor/IBO you know, so they don't get financially raped.

  • Patricia Denhof

    This has been occurring and will continue to occur unless someone steps forward to stop it. Vindictive and malicious women have been making false allegations against men and using the public's emotional response to the horrific crime to hide from the scrutiny of the claims. Visit http://www.freedomfor50.com for another person who was falsely accused and was not so fortunate as he is now languishing in prison. There was perjury, witness tampering and prosecutorial misconduct in the trial (affirmed by the Court of Appeals) and now it has been discovered that evidence was withheld. His court appointed attorney refused to give him the file with evidence shredding his file instead. The Ottawa County FOC has stated they are going to shred his file and Judge Johnston has refused to rule and shredded a motion outlining the facts exonerating him. Prosecutor Forsyth claims he didn't receive the withheld evidence; yet 2 statutes stated he was required to receive it. I'm so glad Mr. Finlayson only lost 2 weeks, his reputation and good name. He could have lost the rest of his life

  • Heidi

    Finally, someone is airing the truth. I can't express what it was like to watch this happen to a friend, knowing he was innocent. That woman needs to answer to a lot of people. To Lee and his family, the courts, the public, and to women who have lived through the horror of rape. She made a game of it and should not walk away unscathed. I'm thrilled it worked out for Lee. But the fact remains that this will never go away. He has paid personally and financially for something he did not do. How many other men are paying the price in prison when they also are innocent? These women need to be prosecuted harshly and pay the price for their malicious actions.

  • Jaime Lynn

    WXMI, you almost got it right.

    First, Lee never lost his job and, in fact, was promoted in spite of this because he is excellent at what he does. The fact that he maintained his professionalism despite this is evidence of that.

    Secondly, SHE didn't drop the charges! The dismissal (and issuance) of legal charges is completely the action of the Office of Prosecuting Attorney in Beaver County, Pennsylvania. The Prosecuting Attorney failed to insist on a proper investigation—INCLUDING EVIDENCE!—prior to issuing the charges in the first place.

  • Vet

    He should file charges against the prosecutor's office from which the warrant was issued, as well as the judge that signed off on it.