NewsLocal News


Fort Myers man wrongfully accused of sexual assault

Posted at 10:22 PM, Feb 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-20 22:22:46-05

A Fort Myers man said he was wrongfully accused of sexual assault.

Paul Jacob was arrested in December because of DNA evidence linked to a 1995 sexual assault case in Lee county.

"I know I was innocent. The things that were said about me were not true," said Jacob, as his family and friends stood behind him.

The State Attorney's office said the charge was not filed. Investigators concluded it was not feasible to move forward with the prosecution. Jacob said it is still painful to look back.

"It devastated my family, "said Jacob. "I felt betrayed as a person," he added.

Mike Chinopoulos, a defense attorney not involved in the case, said Jacob's DNA was effective.

"The State Attorney did the right thing. The investigators said not sufficient evidence and they're not going to waste the tax payer's money prosecuting a case," said Chinopoulos, from his Fort Myers office.

He agreed with the State Attorney's belief DNA evidence comes in different forms. It needs to be put in context with the other facts and evidence of the case.

"I think the general public looks at DNA evidence and says it is a certainty, an absolute certainty," said Chinopoulos. "But, it's not," he added.

Jacob is concerned how many others are accused of crimes they didn't do.

"It makes me wonder if this system that they have with DNA is solid," said Jacob. "It makes me wonder if there's other people who could be innocent," he added.