Man wrongfully jailed for rape wins €1 million compensation

Rafael Ricardi spent 13 years in jail before being absolved

Rafael Ricardi.
Rafael Ricardi.JARO MUÑOZ

A man who spent 13 years in prison for a rape he did not commit is to receive compensation of over one million euros, double the amount the state agreed to pay him in 2010.

Rafael Ricardi's lawyers described the High Court decision as a victory against the system, since government representatives had recommended that Ricardi not appeal the original amount so as to avoid delaying its payment.

Ricardi walked free in 2008 after the police reviewed the DNA evidence in the case and saw that it was linked to other rapes in the same area for which they had two other suspects - now sentenced to over 200 years. It then emerged that his case had been riddled with legal and law enforcement mistakes that led to his imprisonment.

"You can't pay for this with money," said Ricardi on several occasions after his release. But his lawyers still claimed 10 million euros in damages from the state. The Justice Ministry agreed to pay 555,600 euros, an amount the attorneys deemed "insufficient" even though Ricardi accepted it, since he lacked a source of income and was not fit to work. He used that money to buy a home in El Puerto de Santa María (Cádiz), where he formed a new family.

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