Thursday, June 4, 2009

'Bunker Boy' Files Suit Over False Rape Charge

OLYMPIA, Wash. -- A man found living in an underground bunker in an Olympia park has filed what could be a $1 million lawsuit for being wrongly arrested and charged with the rape of an 11-year-old girl two years ago.

David Lynch was secretly living in an elaborate bunker he built into the hillside of an Olympia city park at the time the girl was raped at her nearby home.

Police found Lynch about a mile from the house and started questioning him, though he did not fit the attacker's description.

In a lawsuit filed against the city of Olympia and several of its police officers, attorney Charles Lane claims Lynch was not properly read his rights, that Lynch denied any wrongdoing and asked for an attorney, but police continued to push Lynch toward a confession and a total mental breakdown.

"The severe mental anguish he suffered during that time period he still has to deal with today," said Lane.

In addition to long-term mental health issues, Lynch's attorney said his client also developed blood clots during his incarceration, which requires daily use of blood thinners.

Although DNA evidence eventually cleared Lynch, his attorney said the physical and mental damage can't be undone. Lynch is suing for unlawful arrest and imprisonment.

"I think a jury could potentially reach a figure over $1 million," said Lane.

Olympia police later arrested and convicted Peter Inouye for the girl's rape. He was sentenced in January to 60 years in prison.