FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., Feb. 20 (UPI) -- A mentally disabled South Florida man says he is suing sheriff's deputies he claimed framed him 25 years ago for crimes he did not commit.
Anthony Caravella says he was coerced into falsely confessing to the November 1983 rape and murder of 58-year-old Ada Cox Jankowski, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported Tuesday.
DNA testing cleared Caravella of the crimes in 2009.
A civil suit against Miramar investigators and deputies with the Broward County sheriff's office began Tuesday.
Caravella's attorney, Barbara Heyer, said during opening statements that officers lied and hid evidence that would have cleared him.
Caravella, who is mentally challenged, was 15 at the time he was charged.
Lawyers representing the officers and their employers told jurors Caravella confessed voluntarily and of his own accord.
Officers initially arrested Caravella and charged him with stealing a bicycle. Over several hours of unrecorded questioning they fed him information and details about the crime, his attorney said.
Heyer is seeking an unspecified amount of damages and compensation.