The Exoneration Project

He paid a huge price for a crime he didn’t commit after being framed by a police detective.

After 18 years in prison, a Chicago man was cleared of a murder he didn’t commit. Now, he’s trying to recover some of what he lost.

“It’s like a burden being lifted off my shoulders. I been waiting for this for the last twenty-seven years. And I’m glad it finally happened,” said Gerardo Iglesias.

Iglesias spent 18 years in prison, but on Wednesday, he was number “19.” He’s the 19th defendant to be exonerated after being framed by former Chicago police detective Reynaldo Guevara. Iglesias went to prison for the 1993 murder of Monica Roman in Humboldt Park. He served his time and was released seven years ago.

Prosecutors on Wednesday dropped all of the charges against him, but his attorneys want more.

“There needs to accountability. Criminal accountability for Detective Guevara, criminal accountability for the men who were Detective Guevara’s partners and supervisors,” said Exoneration Project attorney Anand Swaminatham.

Guevara retired 14 years ago. The city has settled numerous lawsuits against him, for millions of dollars.

Wednesday’s exoneration comes following an admission from a jailhouse informant that he made up his story about Iglesias confessing in prison, after he had been threatened by Detective Guevara.

“That testimony was fabricated by Detective Guevara, and that informant has come forward, and admitted that his testimony was false, and that it was obtained by Detective Guevara based on pressure and threats,” Swaminatham said.

Iglesias has been working in construction, and was asked by reporters what’s ahead now that he’s been exonerated.

“I got a 27-year-old son. Spend more time with my son, and just live life,” he said. Read more.