Rape suspect cleared by DNA sues cops, city for false arrest, defamation

 A man accused of sexually assaulting two women, including one at gunpoint, has filed a federal lawsuit after DNA evidence failed to link him to the crimes.
Xavier Jajuan Davis of Grand Rapids contends he was suspected based on a police sketch that he says bears little resemblance to him.
"I'm telling them, 'You have the wrong person. There's gotta be a mistake. You guys are making a mistake,'" Davis, 32, told MLive/The Grand Rapids Press.
"For whatever reason, they decided Xavier Davis was the guy," his attorney, Mark Linton said.
"They just seemed to have it out for him."
The Police Department said: "As is the case with any lawsuit against the police department or an officer acting in the capacity of his or her duties, all inquiries will be forwarded to the City Attorney's Office."
The city has not yet been served with the lawsuit, Assistant City Attorney Kristen Rewa said.
Davis is suing the city and three investigators.
He said he was under investigation, but not charged, in a burglary and arson when he was arrested for the gunpoint rape. He contends police convinced the woman that he was responsible based on a police sketch.
He says that investigators learned beginning in February that Davis was not in the area of the armed sex assault and that DNA tests excluded him as the suspect. Phone records and Uber records also supported his case, he said. He was released from jail, and placed on electronic tether, on May 22.
"Defendants knew or should have known that there was not probable cause to arrest and charge Mr. Davis, causing him to be held in jail for 129 days and then placed on a tether for another 61 days," Linton wrote in the lawsuit.
"The actions of Defendants in light of this knowledge were extreme and outrageous."
Once he got out of jail, Davis was evicted from his rental home and lost jobs at DeVos Place and The B.O.B., he said.
Charges were dropped just as Davis was set for trial July 23 in Kent County Circuit Court.
Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker said "witness issues" and a lack of a DNA match led to the dismissal in the case involving the gun. An unrelated sex-assault case was also dropped.
Davis says he became a suspect in the sex assault in 2017 after he complained to city officials that he was unfairly targeted in the burglary and arson. He said he was at work when the crimes occurred.
He said Detective Adam Bayliss was upset and told him he was only doing his job.
Lt. Kristen Rogers then told Davis that the burglary and arson cases had been closed, the lawsuit said. Detective Kevin Snyder, however, suggested to Rogers that police obtain a DNA sample from Davis to determine if it matched evidence found at the rape scene, the lawsuit said.
Davis had been in trouble before. He was sentenced in 2012 to 15 months in prison for attempted home invasion and has twice been convicted of window peeping.
On Jan. 14, Davis was arrested by U.S. Marshals at the Greyhound bus station. He was told he was arrested for multiple sex-assault charges. Detectives questioned him and obtained a DNA sample.
Linton said that the "primary basis for having Mr. Davis publicly arrested was that the officers compared his picture to a sketch draft based on a description (by) the victim in a rape case ... ."
He said that the victim could not identify her attacker but after suggestions by police agreed that it could have been Davis. The victim in that case was raped during the early morning Dec. 28 in her parked car on Kalamazoo Avenue SE.
At his Jan. 17 arraignment, Davis was also charged with an unrelated sexual assault that happened at DeVos Place. The victim told police that a worker sexually assaulted her in a utility room, the lawsuit said.
Davis was suspected after a detective recalled that Davis worked at DeVos Place. But Davis started working there a month after the assault was reported, his attorney said.
The lawsuit contends that Snyder "unduly coerced" the victim in the DeVos Place to agree it was possible Davis committed the assault.
"Despite having clear exculpatory evidence for the rape case dating back to February of 2018, the charges against Mr. Davis were not dismissed until July 23, 2018," Linton wrote in the lawsuit.
Davis, once held on $400,000 bond, was assaulted at the Kent County Jail shortly after his arrest and put into a one-man cell for his safety, the lawsuit said.
His case was reported in local media. His booking photo and the police sketch were put on Grand Rapids Police Department's Facebook page, the lawsuit said.
Allegations in the lawsuit include malicious prosecution, defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress and false imprisonment.
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