A Wichita man arrested last May in connection with two rapes, then released when a DNA test proved his innocence, is suing the Police Department for an apology. Joshua Fontes filed the lawsuit Thursday afternoon in Sedgwick County District Court.
“This is not a case where we’re seeking a large amount of money,” said Dan Monnat, one of Fontes’ lawyers. “He just wants an apology.” City Attorney Gary Rebenstorf declined to immediately comment on the lawsuit, after being sent a copy by The Eagle.
The story of the arrest was reported on Wichita news broadcasts and on Kansas.com. At least two television stations, KAKE, Channel 10, and KSNW, Channel 3, named Fontes at the time of his arrest.
According to the lawsuit:
Police arrested Fontes on May 9, suspecting him of two rapes. He was booked into the Sedgwick County Jail and held for 48 hours with no arrest affidavit of probable cause signed by a judge. Police said they were awaiting DNA test results, the lawsuit claims.
“The delay in gathering additional evidence to justify the arrest was unreasonable,” the suit contends. DNA test results exonerated Fontes, and he was released. The lawsuit says that if Fontes doesn’t receive an apology from the city, he will seek “damages, attorney fees and other such and further relief as the Court deems just and proper.”
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The Wichita Eagle – By Ron Sylvester