County to settle wrongful rape arrest lawsuit

Published 7:04 am Monday, March 18, 2019

A Mississippi county has agreed to pay $15,000 to settle a wrongful arrest lawsuit brought by a man who was accused of statutory rape.

The Commercial Dispatch reports Lowndes County board of supervisors voted Friday to settle the lawsuit by Javonte Ellis against a local judge.

Ellis was 17 at the time of his 2015 arrest on allegations that he had sex with a 14-year-old girl. The charge was later dropped after it was discovered the age difference wasn’t enough to warrant the charge. Ellis’ lawsuit says he was publicly arrested at his high school and later expelled.

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Board President Harry Sanders says the county will pay the judge’s defense costs, but he hopes the settlement ends the lawsuit.

Ellis’ attorney didn’t immediately respond to the newspaper’s requests for comment.