Exonerated man sues city of Chicago, retired detective Reynaldo Guevara, other officials for alleged framing

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A man wrongfully convicted of a crime he did not commit is suing the city of Chicago and a police detective.

Robert Bouto says he was framed for a 1993 murder by Chicago police detective Reynaldo Guevara when he was 17 years old.

Bouto's conviction was vacated almost one year ago, and two weeks ago his name was officially cleared. He was issued a certificate of innocence in March, which cleared the way for the 43-year-old to file a lawsuit.

Bouto spent close to 23 years in prison.

"You took me away when I was 17, you took me into a grown man's institution," Bouto said.

For Bouto, the pain and anger never goes away. He spent more time in his life in prison than as a free man.

In a lawsuit filed Thursday, Bouto accuses Guevara and others of framing him.

"You took me there in front of grown ass men, strip searched me, humiliated me, took everything I loved away from me," Bouto said.

At the time of the murder, Bouto was with his girlfriend near Roosevelt High School in Albany Park. He was randomly picked up by police after two teenagers, allegedly sent by Guevara, pointed to Bouto as the shooter.

"They looked around looking for young boys in the neighborhood and Robert was one of the people they grabbed," said Bouto's attorney Russell Ainsworth.

The witnesses recanted and Bouto had an alibi and two witnesses who never changed their stories, yet it took almost 23 years in prison and time on parole for Bouto to receive a certificate of innocence.

"It means the world to me. It means when my daughter grows up I can take her on field trips without having this over my head and people say you can't come because you're a murderer," Bouto said.

Bouto's declaration of innocence comes as he and his wife are expecting their first child in June. Despite it all, Bouto said he will never feel at peace until Guevera is held accountable.

"I want him in jail. I want him to go through what I went through, being woken up at 6:45 a.m., asked to step out of your cell while people search your room," said Buoto.

According to Bouto's attorney, there have been 19 convictions overturned related to Guevara cases.

The former Chicago Police detective is retired and receiving a full pension. Criminal charges have never been filed against him.
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