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Johnny Reeves

Other Ohio Cases with Perjury or False Accusations
In 1988, 41-year-old Johnny Reeves was indicted by a Hamilton County, Ohio grand jury on a charge of raping his 8-year-old niece in their home in Cincinnati, Ohio.

In 1989, Reeves went to trial in Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas. The girl testified that Reeves, who had moved in with her family, raped her.

Reeves denied that he raped the girl or engaged in any improper conduct. The jury convicted him of rape and he was sentenced to 15 to 50 years in prison.

Three years later, the girl was living in Lawrenceburg, Tennessee and approached police to say that she had lied. She said that she had been raped, but by her father who then forced her to falsely implicate Reeves. She said she had done so because she was afraid of her father, who was still living in Cincinnati.

Police began an investigation, but the investigation was closed after the girl’s father hanged himself.

Sometime later, the girl returned to Cincinnati and gave a sworn recantation to the Ohio Public Defender’s Office. In 1998, a motion for a new trial was filed. However, the motion languished after the girl left town and could not be located.

In the summer of 1999, attorney Kevin Brewer was assigned by a Court of Common Pleas judge to handle a state petition to declare Reeves a sex offender for the purpose of declaring Reeves to be a sexual predator.

When Brewer was assigned the case, he pulled the original file and found a copy of the motion for new trial and the girl’s recantation. He began making telephone calls and found the woman within a few days.

On July 15, 1999, the victim, who by then was 18 years old, appeared at a hearing and testified that Reeves was innocent and that her father had raped her and threatened to harm her unless she implicated Reeves.

Common Pleas Court Judge Robert Ruehlman, who had presided over Reeves’ trial in 1989, found the testimony to be credible and vacated Reeves’ conviction. He ordered Reeves released that day.

On August 25, 1999, the prosecution dismissed the charge.

In 2001, Reeves received $389,000 in compensation from the state of Ohio. Two years later, in February 2003, Reeves died of a heart attack, but not before he had spent all of his money, giving much of away to friends and relatives, including $12,000 to his niece—the person who falsely accused him—because he forgave her false testimony.

– Maurice Possley

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Posting Date: 2/9/2016
Last Updated: 10/10/2018
Most Serious Crime:Child Sex Abuse
Additional Convictions:
Reported Crime Date:1988
Sentence:15 to 50 years
Age at the date of reported crime:41
Contributing Factors:Perjury or False Accusation
Did DNA evidence contribute to the exoneration?:No