Lorinda Swain cleared after years in prison; agrees to $1.9M settlement

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Lorinda Swain, 5/18/16

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (AP) — A county in southwestern Michigan has agreed to a $1.9 million settlement with a woman who spent seven years in prison before her sexual assault conviction was thrown out.

Calhoun County made the deal Wednesday with Lorinda Swain. In 2002, she was convicted of molesting a family member, but the conviction was set aside in 2009 after new witnesses raised doubts about her guilt. The alleged victim and other witnesses also recanted their testimony.

For the next seven years, Swain’s case moved between Calhoun County and Michigan’s highest courts. The state Supreme Court ordered a new trial in 2016, but prosecutors decided to drop the case.

Swain sued the county, saying her rights were violated when certain information gathered by investigators wasn’t shared with her defense team.

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