GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A man arrested and held in jail for 129 days before he was cleared on sexual assault charges is suing the City of Grand Rapids and three members of the police department.
The lawsuit claims police targeted a man and refused to release him even after they had proof he was not their suspect.
The 24-page complaint filed in Grand Rapids Federal Court Friday details what Xavier Davis says were violations of his rights that include unlawful imprisonment, arrest and prosecution.
In January, Davis was featured in media stories when he was arrested for a publicized sexual assault in Grand Rapids
“It was all over social media, Internet,” said Davis
A Grand Rapids woman said she was the victim of a sexual assault at gunpoint around 1:30 a.m. on Dec. 28 in the 4200 block of Oak Park Drive SE.
Police put out a sketch looking for tips and say the victim identified Davis from a photo lineup, which was enough to lead police to arrest Davis as he was at the bus station on Jan. 14.
“The worst part for me, I think, is still reliving, I have dreams and stuff, of how the arrest went down at the bus station,” Davis said.
In January, Davis strongly denied the charges, saying he was nowhere near where the assault occurred.
“Hey, what are you guys gonna do when you realize you’ve messed up? Basically telling them on-camera in the interrogation that you guys are gonna be sued after this if you don’t fix this,” Davis told police during his interrogation.
Davis had a criminal past that included time in prison in 2012 for a home invasion and three months in jail in 2015 for a window peeping charge.
Xavier would remain in jail through May, even as evidence came in in March that included cell phone and Uber records that indicated he was not at the scene, and DNA tests showed it was someone else’s DNA evidence at the scene.
“When they had what’s called exculpatory evidence, they sat on it. A lot of this information – Uber records, cell phone records, DNA records – they had by the latest, the end of March,” Davis said.
The lawsuit says it was this failure to release that is the most damning.
“Where the false imprisonment, wrongful imprisonment will come in is because they had the information and did nothing with it,” Davis said.
While in jail, Davis was assaulted and had to be put in protective custody.
He lost his two jobs, his home and after he was released had to spend time in a homeless shelter.
“When the judge signed the PR bond, I was overwhelmed with excitement but at the same time I was nervous, what are people gonna think, what are people gonna say,” Davis said.
Davis has been able to get a new job and a new place to live.
He is seeking an undetermined amount of damages.
The city said Sunday it had not yet been served with the lawsuit. Once it is, it has 21 days to respond.