Ohio agrees to $1.9M settlement in wrongful convictions

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — The state of Ohio will pay out nearly $2 million to settle with a man and woman who
were wrongly convicted of child sexual abuse and spent years in prison.
The Ohio Court of Claims approved payments to Robert Aldridge and M. Jenny Reach, formerly M. Jenny
Wilcox, of $527,255 and $726,315, respectively, the Dayton Daily News reported. The law firm that
represented the two, Cooper & Elliott, will receive $646,430.
Reach and Aldridge, formerly of the Dayton suburb of Huber Heights, were convicted in 1985 of 23 child
molestation charges. The convictions were overturned in 1996 after they’d spent 11 years in prison.
Columbus-based private investigator Martin Yant discovered sloppy investigative work led to the
unjustified arrests.
"Really a travesty and such an abuse of power," said Tim Young, the attorney who defended the
duo at trial. "The whole apartment complex was in a years long uproar because the police and
prosecutors decided something happened and did not quit until two innocent people were in jail and
children’s lives and memories were forever altered."
Reach and Aldridge are no longer together and both live in Indiana. They said that carrying the stigma of
being a child molester profoundly changed their lives.
"It has been hard," Reach said. "Being called a child molester isn’t an easy thing, and
even after your name is cleared, you still have a stigma. And so many things that happened in prison
really crushed my self-esteem, like the way they made you strip search before you went out to see your