SEATTLE (AP) _ A jury on Monday rejected claims of police misconduct brought by four people who say they were falsely accused of child rape and molestation.

After deliberating for more than five days, the King County Superior Court panel decided that the central Washington town of Wenatchee, the town's police officials and three members of the Douglas County sheriff's department did not violate the civil rights of the four, who said they were falsely accused in 1994-95.

Douglas County Sheriff Dan LaRoche said the verdict allows police to keep investigating sex abuse and molestation cases without fear of lawsuits.

``When your livelihood is threatened for doing your job, and your family's jeopardized, that's pretty hard to take,'' LaRoche said.

Primary plaintiffs in the lawsuit were Pastor Robert ``Roby'' Roberson and his wife Connie; Honnah Sims, a Sunday-school teacher at Roberson's Pentecostal church; and parishioner Donna Rodriguez.

They claimed that overzealous investigators encouraged children to falsely accuse them of child rape and molestation. They and their families sought up to $60 million in damages.

Roberson, his wife and daughter sat silently as the verdict was announced.

``It's a verdict,'' he said later. ``It doesn't mean it's the end. It doesn't mean they're right.''

His wife was in tears.

``We lived the injustice. We know the truth,'' she said.

``I'm surprised,'' said Robert Van Siclen, the plaintiffs' principal attorney.

Van Siclen said he would analyze the jury's findings more closely before deciding whether to appeal.

The Robersons and Sims were acquitted of child-rape and molestation charges in 1995. Charges against Rodriguez were dismissed in 1996 when four of her five accusers recanted.

During the Wenatchee sex rings investigation, a total of 28 people were charged with child rape or molestation. Of those, 14 pleaded guilty, five were convicted and three were acquitted. Charges against six others were dismissed or reduced.