Man Sues Det. Sgt. Ingrid Jonas for Allowing Him to Sit in Jail on a Sexual Assault Charge and Not Revealing that his Accuser is a Serial False Accuser

Community of the Wrongly Accused
June 26, 2012
John Grenier, 46, has sued detective Sgt. Ingrid Jonas for money damages because, Mr. Grenier maintains, he was falsely imprisoned for 74 days on a sexual assault charge after Sgt. Jonas learned of evidence that would have cast considerable doubt on the accuser’s credibility, but Sgt. Jonas sat on it. Trial is going on this week.

Mr. Grenier alleges that his accuser was a serial false accuser with a lengthy history of making false rape claims, and that there were at least a half dozen earlier police re­ports indicating the wom­an, now 43 years-old, had filed false sex crime claims.  (In addition, the alleged victim supposedly became infatuated with a police officer who investigated one of the false complaints in 1992, and she stalked him, including phone calls to his home and getting ar­rested multiple times on minor offenses so she might get to see the offi­cer.)  These facts should have been known to police, but they weren’t revealed to Mr. Grenier.

In December 2007, the alleged victim told Sgt. Jonas that Mr. Grenier sexually assaulted her on Nov. 2, 2007, and that she repeatedly had told Mr. Grenier “no.” Mr. Grenier was arrested. However, when Sgt. Jonas interviewed the accuser again a few days later, the accuser said the assault happened in October; she also said she never said a word to Grenier during the incident because she was afraid.  Jonas did not report this change in stories to prosecutors.

A judge denied Mr. Grenier bail, partly because of two lewd-conduct convictions in the 1990s.

While Mr. Grenier sat in jail awaiting his trial, he learned in February 2008 about a voicemail from his accuser to Sgt. Jonas, made possibly as early as mid-December 2007, that indicated the accuser wanted to report yet another rape, by a different man. Sgt. Jonas retrieved the message in January 2008 after returning from vacation, but did not reveal it to the prosecution until mid-February, the lawsuit noted.

Jonas never inves­tigated the second rape claim and never spoke with the woman or her alleged attacker. She deemed the claim false without inves­tigating, Mr. Grenier claims. Yet Mr. Grenier remained locked up on the claim she made against him.

While Mr. Grenier’s past sexual misconduct was used to justify how he was treated (e.g., he was denied bail because of it), his accuser’s lengthy past history for making false sex claims was not deemed important enough even to reveal.

Mr. Grenier’s lawyers maintain that other prose­cutors had refused to file criminal charges in the past against other men the alleged victim wrongly accused because she was so lacking in credibility. Mr. Grenier claims that Sgt. Jonas failed in her responsibilities as a detective and should have questioned the validity of the alleged victim’s claims after she first changed the story.

At trial this week, Sgt. Jonas said she never told prosecutors about either the change in the alleged victim’s story or the questionable voicemail because the officer said she “wasn’t asked” to do so.