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State Awards $110,000 to Innocent Man

December 24, 1988

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) _ A man who spent more than 1 1/2 years in prison for rapes he did not commit has been awarded $110,000 by the Ohio Court of Claims.

Bradley Cox, 29, had sought more than $3.5 million for the one year and 267 days he served at the Lebanon Correctional Institution after he was convicted in 1980 in two counties on three counts of rape, five counts of aggravated robbery and three counts of aggravated burglary.

Cox was serving a 77- to 275-year sentence in December 1981 when Jon Simonis confessed to the crimes for which Cox had been convicted. Simonis, a former Ohio resident who was imprisoned in Louisiana, confessed to 80 attacks in 12 states, including the three for which Cox was convicted.

Cox was released from prison in January 1982 after Ohio authorities interviewed Simonis.

The state claims court on Monday awarded Cox $49,500 for the time he spent in jail, $35,500 for lost wages during his imprisonment and $25,000 for attorney’s fees.

Cox’s stepmother, Johann Cox of Lithopolis, told The Columbus Dispatch in 1986 that prison had scarred her stepson.

″He was pretty good when he first got out. He had high hopes, but nothing seemed to work out for Brad. ... Prison made mincemeat out of him,″ she said.

In April 1987, Cox was arrested on charges of auto theft and receiving stolen property in the central Ohio community of Lancaster.

This August, Fairfield County Common Pleas Judge Joseph Clark found Cox innocent by reason of insanity, and ordered him to undergo further psychiatric treatment.

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