Dotson arrested on trespass charge at home of estranged wife

SKOKIE, Ill. -- Gary Dotson, recently cleared in a celebrated rape case, was arrested Sunday on criminal trespass charges at the home of his estranged wife after a failed attempt at a reconciliation, authorities said.

Dotson was taken to the Sheriff's Police post in Skokie, north of Chicago, after his arrest shortly after 3 p.m. at the home of his wife, Camille, in unincorporated Maine Township, Lt. Arthur Jackson said.


'He's charged with criminal trespass for entering the home without her permission,' Jackson said. 'He did not resist arrest.'

The trespassing charge is a misdemeanor and Dotson will be freed on a $100 bond, Jackson said.

Dotson and his wife had been trying to negotiate a reconciliation in recent weeks, and Camille Dotson had given him a key to her apartment, Jackson said.

'They apparently were not able to reconcile and she went to Las Vegas,' Jackson said. 'She said she came back and found he was still there and he refused to surrender the key, so she called the police.'

Dotson, 32, was cleared Aug. 14 of a 1977 rape that drew national attention in 1985, when the woman who had made the allegation, Cathleen Crowell Webb, recanted her testimony. Prosecutors dropped all charges against Dotson, who was convicted in 1979 of raping Webb.


That day, Dotson said his adult life was just beginning after spending nearly a decade in jail for a rape the state finally agreed he did not commit.

'I don't feel like I've got somebody to answer to anymore,' Dotson said as he left court. 'For the first time in 12 years, I'm not a teenager.'

The decision ended a 12-year nightmare for the Country Club Hills resident, who lived behind bars from the time of his arrest in 1977 until Webb came forward in 1985 to say she had wrongly accused him.

Dotson served nine years of his 25- to 50-year sentence for abduction and rape before Gov. James R. Thompson commuted his sentence to time served after a televised public hearing by the state Prisoner Review Board at which Webb testified.

Webb, a housewife who now lives on a farm near Jaffrey, N.H., became a born-again Christian during the years since Dotson's arrest and conviction and said she recanted out of guilt.

After his initial release, Dotson had several minor skirmishes with the law, including traffic violations. He and his wife, who have a daughter, have been separated since Dotson was returned the penitentiary in 1987.

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