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Man sues sheriffs department after being cleared of sex-crime charges


UNDATED (WSAU)   A northwest Wisconsin man wants $4-millionin damages, after he was wrongly accused of molesting a child. Paul Burritt filed a civil suit against the Polk County Sheriff’s Department and investigator Lisa Ditlefsen. The 61-year-old Burritt claims that the investigator had a “reckless or intentional disregard” of the facts, when she arrested him last December for allegedly molesting an 11-year-old girl he was carrying in a van for kids with special needs.

The girl later recanted her story, and said the alleged abuse never took place. A sexual assault charge was dropped, and the case was expunged from Burritt’s record.

His attorney, Peter Nickitas, said the investigator knew the facts did not add up – and she still arrested him. Ditlefsen and the county have not commented. Burritt is seeking $3-million in punitive damages, and  $1-million for pain-and-suffering.