Jury reaches verdict in Fox lawsuit


The Fox family lawsuit claimed their civil rights had been violated by Will County authorities. Thursday, a jury agreed.

The attorney representing these lawmen said during the case that his clients no longer believe Kevin Fox killed his daughter. However, privately, the detectives and their supporters continue to cast the spotlight of suspicion in Kevin Fox's direction. The Fox family hopes this verdict will provide vindication on several fronts.

Kevin and Melissa Fox left court comforted by the verdict and confident it sends a strong message.

"It was 10 people on the jury, and they found that I wasn't in the wrong and that I did everything right," said Kevin Fox, murder victim's father.

The jury decided five Will County Sheriff's investigators violated Fox's due process and intentionally inflicted emotional distress as they zeroed in on him as their prime suspect in the sexual assault and murder of Fox's 3-year-old daughter Riley.

During an all-night interrogation, Fox claims the detectives threatened him with being raped in jail, told him his wife and father abandoned him, and said he could go home if he confessed to accidentally murdering his daughter.

"A jury has stepped-up to protect the rights that we all hold dear and they have sent a message to Will County and I hope Will County is listening. This kind of behavior needs to stop," said Kathleen Zellner, Fox's attorney.

Kevin Fox spent eight months in jail before his attorney tested DNA that investigators failed to send to a lab for processing. It showed someone else was involved in Riley's murder.

"That should have been done within the first month of Riley Fox's death. The biological substance was discovered the next day when they did the autopsy. They had all that time, all they had to do was pick up the phone," said Zellner.

Former Will County State's Attorney Jeff Tomczak reached a settlement with the Fox's just before the civil trial began. The current head prosecutor, Jim Glasgow, released a statement saying, "We continue to stand behind and support our detectives and the manner in which they conducted themselves throughout this investigation. It has always been our contention that the sheriff's deputies acted properly during the interview of Kevin Fox and that they had probable cause to arrest him."

Melissa Fox says she hopes to put part of the $15 million verdict to good use.

"We're going to continue our fight next step is to fund the investigation to find our daughter's killer," Melissa Fox said.

So who will pay this verdict? Will County's insurance covers $9 million. The $6.2 million in punitive damages is the responsibility of the investigators. But there will be an appeal.

Will County Sheriff Paul Kaupas continues to stand by his men, who save one, are still on the job.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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