An area man who spent 34 years in jail for against the law he didn’t commit has filed a civil rights swimsuit – WPXI

INDIANA COUNTY, Pennsylvania – In 1982 Lewis Fogle was sentenced to life imprisonment for the rape and murder of a 15-year-old Indiana County girl.

He spent 34 years in prison before DNA evidence exonerated him, which led to his release in 2015.

But Fogle told Channel 11 that his life has been stolen and that he is living in his own personal hell.

“Most of the time I just feel like I’m in prison. Life isn’t mine, ”said Fogle. “I try to get a job, try to find an apartment, and I get turned away every time. Even my right to be a father was taken from me. “

When Fogle was wrongly convicted of the rape and murder of Kathy Long, he was newly married. His son was only 7 months old.

“I had what I wanted in life and with the snap of a finger it was all gone,” he said. “I tried to write to many of them, but I never heard from them. The law said I did it, so I had to do it. “

Fogle told Channel 11 that there were mistakes in every step that led to his fate.

There was no evidence against him when he stood on trial in the Indiana County Courthouse in 1982.

The prosecution’s case was based solely on testimony from inmates and a man who was hypnotized after a stay in a mental hospital.

Now Fogle is suing 17 people linked to his case, alleging his civil rights have been violated.

“They will forge evidence and witnesses, change the events of the crime, and even pay witnesses to lie just to reinforce a conviction,” Fogle said. “I think the criminal justice system is broken and needs to be renewed.”

It wasn’t until decades later, with the help of the Innocence Project, that Fogle found DNA that no one knew about: the evidence that exonerated him.

“There were times when I didn’t think I would survive. I thought of ending it. One thing stopped me from doing it. If I had finished they would have won, ”he said.

Fogle is considering taking the bar exam and becoming a lawyer to help other people who have nowhere else to go. He has even helped several others overturn convictions.

Channel 11 contacted the Indiana County, Indiana County Attorneys and the Pennsylvania State Police, all named in Fogle’s lawsuit.

The Indiana County Attorney’s Office and the Pennsylvania State Police both said they had no comment on any pending litigation.

Kathy Long’s killer was never found.

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