3 men cleared in teen's strangling death sue Nassau for $200M

Three men who spent years behind bars for a notorious Long Island murder only to later be cleared in the case are now suing Nassau

WOODBURY - Three men who spent years behind bars for a notorious Long Island murder only to later be cleared in the case are now suing Nassau County for nearly $200 million. Dennis Halstead, John Restivo and John Kogut were convicted in the 1984 death of 16-year-old Theresa Fusco, largely because of a videotaped confession to police by Kogut. In it, he said his two friends raped Fusco and that he strangled her, but he later recanted and said police had forced him to confess. All three were released and cleared in 2003 after new technology showed that their DNA didn't match evidence from the crime scene. Kogut was retried but acquitted, and charges were dropped against the other two men. Now, the former defendants are plaintiffs: they're suing Nassau County for nearly $200 million because they say cops and prosecutors forced the confession and planted evidence. Nassau County Attorney John Ciampoli says the county stands behind the way the case was handled. The county has hired a criminal law firm from Manhattan to handle the civil case at a cost that could reach several hundred thousand dollars. The case is expected to take about eight weeks. To watch archival News 12 coverage of the case, go to Optimum TV Channel 612 and select 'News 12 Extra.'

advertisement | advertise on News 12

Top 5 Must See

Nassau Police say they arrested a 23-year-old man 1 Police: Uber driver beaten unconscious by passenger
Jupiter Hammon was the first African-American poet to 2 Black History Month: Jupiter Hammon
Catch 3 LI Winter: Theaters add extra shows for winter break
Ednilson David Cruz Alvarado is charged with assault, 4 Man accused of assaulting woman in his home
A pilot from Wheatley Heights is recovering after 5 LI pilot recovers after plane crash in NJ

advertisement | advertise on News 12

Features

Each week, News 12's Doug Geed explores the Check out fun things to do on the East End!

Explore the Twin Forks with News 12's Doug Geed.

Each week a different shelter visits News 12 Dog Day Fridays Series

Each week a different shelter visits News 12 Long Island with pets up for adoption.

News 12 digs deep to find Long Island's Discover Long Island's Hidden Past

News 12's Danielle Campbell digs into Long Island's roots.

News 12's Lily Stolzberg sees how much Long On The Spot

News 12's Lily Stolzberg sees how much Long Islanders know about everything and anything.

Sorry to interrupt...

Your first 5 are free

Access to News12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service Electric℠ video customers.

Please enjoy 5 complimentary views to articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.

LOGIN SUBSCRIBE