Supreme Court declines to hear Baltimore police appeal of $2.3M judgment in 'Charles Village rapist' case

The U.S. Supreme Court will not consider the Baltimore Police Department’s appeal of a $2.3 million judgment for maliciously prosecuting a homeless man as the “Charles Village rapist.”

The Supreme Court announced Monday it had denied the department’s petition to hear the case.

Marlow Humbert sued the Baltimore police in 2011, saying detectives had DNA results within about a month of his arrest that exonerated him, but they continued to hold him on the rape charge. He was held in solitary confinement for more than a year beginning in 2008.

The two sexual assaults in 2008 — one in the 2600 block of St. Paul St. on March 5, then four blocks south on April 30 — incited fear of a serial rapist and police arrested Humbert. He was released about 14 months later after DNA evidence failed to link him to the crimes.

Humbert sued the officers and police department in federal court and a jury ruled unanimously, finding the three officers violated Humbert's right to be free from malicious prosecution. He was awarded $2.3 million in damages in April 2015.

About two months later, U.S. District Judge William Quarles Jr. reversed the jury decision, concluding the detectives had probable cause and were entitled to immunity. Quarles wrote that police had not acted with "actual malice.”

Then Humbert appealed and three federal appeals judges in Richmond, Va., unanimously ordered last August that his award be reinstated.

Next, the police department petitioned the Supreme Court to hear their appeal of the judgment. But the court only accepts about 1 percent of such petitions, Humbert’s attorney, Charles Edwards, said at the time.

Edwards could not immediately be reached Monday.

tprudente@baltsun.com

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