Falsely Accused Man Secures $9.75M Settlement After Spending 30 Years In Prison

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Written by Ann Brown

Mark Denny spent almost three decades behind bars for crimes it turns out he did not commit. Denny was in prison for a rape and robbery but he has now been cleared of all charges.

Denny has been given a $9.75 million settlement from the NYPD after it was approved by Comptroller Scott Stringer in an effort to avoid a potential $50 million lawsuit against the city and the NYPD. The lawsuit alleged police framed Denny, according to records obtained by The Post through the Freedom of Information Law.

In exchange for the settlement Denny surrendered his right to sue the city and hold it liable for his arrest and incarceration.

“It was in the best interest of the city to settle pre-litigation,” Stringer spokeswoman Hazel Crampton-Hays told The Post.

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“In December 1987, Denny, then 17, was one of four men accused of robbing a Burger King in Brooklyn and raping an 18-year woman who worked there. He was sentenced to up to 57 years in prison after a jury in February 1989 convicted him of rape, sodomy, robbery and coercion charges,” The New York Post reported.

Denny always maintained his innocence. He was finally exonerated in December 2017 after an investigation by the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office found Denny had nothing to do with the crime following involvement by the Innocence Project. Ultimately it was determined Denny wasn’t even at the Burger King that night.

According to Denny, he was “targeted and framed” by more than a dozen NYPD detectives who were investigating the crime.   

“The claim alleges detectives procured his conviction by fabricating evidence and failing to check his alibi. It also accuses them of ‘intentionally refusing to investigate other obvious leads,’ including immediately testing hair, fingernail scrapings and other forensic evidence collected from the crime following the assault,” The New York Post reported.

“The NYPD’s fabricated and/or coercive evidence, which was presented to the prosecution prior to trial through false written and oral reports and to the jury through their false testimony at trial, was the sole basis of Mr. Denny’s conviction,” the lawsuit filing says.