Oregon City man falsely accused of molesting girl sues Clackamas - KPTV - FOX 12

Oregon City man falsely accused of molesting girl sues Clackamas County

Posted: Updated:

A former Oregon City soccer coach, who was falsely accused of molesting a young player, is now suing Clackamas County for more than $7,000,000.

Two and a half years ago, Joe Leonetti was arrested and charged with sexually abusing a 12-year-old girl on his soccer team, leading to a near year-long investigation.

But on day one of the trial, the district attorney asked the judge to dismiss the case, and now Leonetti is suing for false arrest, malicious prosecution and denial of his rights.

"I’m not going to be the guy who skated through because I had a good lawyer or the evidence wasn't enough,” Leonetti said in February of 2015, just after his case was dismissed. “I’m going to be the guy who proved his innocence because he was innocent."

At the time, he said then it was too early to think about suing the county, but now, he's doing just that, filing a $7.5 million lawsuit.

The lawsuit specifically names detectives on his case, claiming they arrested him without cause and conducted a corrupt investigation.

The girl Leonetti was accused of molesting was on his Oregon City soccer team, and she was also his daughter's best friend and the daughter of a Clackamas County deputy.

But Leonetti believes the Clackamas County sheriff did not address that potential conflict of interest. He also contends in the lawsuit that cops ignored potential evidence and red flags in the investigation, such as never searching the Leonetti home, where the alleged abuse happened, and the numerous changes in the accuser's story.

"Defendants covered up the inconsistencies, failed to investigate them and presented a glossed-over fact scenario to the prosecuting attorney."

During the investigation Leonetti was forced to move out of his house, and he could only see his children during supervised visits.

His wife Holly was also battling breast cancer at the time, dying from the disease last June.

Leonetti did not want to speak about the full details of the lawsuit yet, but he did send a statement to Fox 12 noting his family felt a responsibility to file the suit.

"Our family was filled with relief and joy at the dismissal of the case last year. My wife and I enjoyed our last months together with the black cloud of uncertainty lifted, and my children and I were afforded the time to grieve without burden. Our family feels a responsibility to the public to expose the serious injustice of this investigation."

Fox 12 asked Clackamas County officials for a statement about the lawsuit but as of Friday afternoon there has been no response.

Copyright 2016 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly
FOX 12
Powered by WorldNow CNN
All content © 2018, KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation, Portland, OR . All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.