St. Clair County settles police coercion lawsuit for $900K

BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) — St. Clair County Board members have approved $900,000 to settle a federal lawsuit that claimed sheriff’s detectives coerced a 17-year-old into giving a false robbery confession in 2013.

Board members on Monday approved the settlement in Trevon Yates’ case. The county admitted no wrongdoing in the settlement.

The federal lawsuit says Yates, now age 19, has reduced cognitive abilities. It claimed the teen begged for his mother, threatened to kill himself and offered to take a lie-detector test to prove he wasn’t involved.

Charges were dismissed in June 2014 after Yates spent nine months in jail. St. Clair County’s attorney, Thomas Ysursa, said the case was dismissed because of a psychiatrist finding on Yates’ mental abilities. The attorney said insurance would cover about 90 percent of the settlement.