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Ohio professor fired after rape charges sues

CINCINNATI (AP) — A former Ohio college professor found not guilty of rape and kidnapping charges has sued the university, which fired him, the police and the media, saying the matter "defamed and destroyed" his personal and professional life.

Hollant "Max" Adrien, 53, filed a federal civil rights lawsuit Tuesday seeking $50 million from Springfield police, and $110 million combined from two newspapers and four TV stations.

He also sued Wittenberg University, seeking to be reinstated and awarded $2 million. In lieu of reinstatement, Adrien seeks $10 million from the university.

Adrien accuses the police department of maliciously arresting him in October 2012 and the university of improperly firing him two months before his trial, during which he was found not guilty.

Springfield police chief Stephen Moody and a university spokesman did not immediately return calls for comment Friday.

Police arrested Adrien on Oct. 23 last year, saying they had connected him to three sexual assaults involving young men in Springfield.

As Adrien awaited trial, prosecutors dropped charges stemming from two of the cases — one because Adrien wasn't living in Ohio at the time of the 2010 assault and the other over credibility issues involving the young man, who admitted lying to police about part of his story, records show.

Wittenberg University, where Adrien had worked as a French professor for about a year, fired him on Dec. 10, 2012, ahead of his February trial stemming from the last accusation, an alleged August 2012 rape and kidnapping of a 19-year-old developmentally disabled man.

The teen told police that a man had approached him in a car as he was walking and threatened to shoot him before driving the teen to a park and raping him. Police said the teen identified Adrien in a lineup.

Adrien testified that he got to know the man and had consensual sex with him in a car. He said he didn't realize the young man was developmentally disabled, saying he thought the teen "just talked funny."

In finding Adrien not guilty, Clark County Judge Douglas Rastatter said the evidence and testimony in the case weren't convincing.

In his lawsuit, Adrien says the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services found he was fired for unjust cause. A department spokesman did not immediately respond to a request Friday to confirm that.

In addition to the financial awards, Adrien wants a public letter of apology from Springfield police, accusing the department of causing "immeasurable destruction, unjust pain and suffering," and "using and abusing their authority and the law to ensnare and defame me," according to the lawsuit.

Also in the lawsuit, Adrien accuses university staff of violating its own policies in firing him before his trial and of treating him differently even before his court case based on his race, sexual orientation and national origin; Adrien was born in Haiti and is gay and black.

It's unclear where Adrien is living or what he is doing now. His lawsuit lists a Sarasota, Fla., number for him but it doesn't accept messages.

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