Dwayne Allen Dail, who was wrongly convicted of rape and spent 18 years in prison, appeared in court Wednesday in a civil suit for back child support.
Dail is entitled to $360,000 in compensation from the state for the wrongful imprisonment. New DNA evidence set him free, but Dail now says he feels imprisoned by his son's mother.
Lorraine Michaels, the mother of Dail's son, filed the lawsuit. The suit seeks a "reasonable sum for the care and maintenance of the minor child" for the years Dail was in prison.
From the moment he was set free for a crime he did not commit, Dail began making up for lost time.
“I was not the only one who was robbed of 18½,” Dail said. “I was not the only victim by any means.”
His son, Christopher, grew up without his dad.
“For it to be insinuated that I’m responsible in some way for not being able to take care of my son was very upsetting,” Dail said.
He was back in court Wednesday, the same court that sent him away all those years ago, for a hearing to determine if back child support should be awarded.
Cameras were not allowed in.
“I felt absolutely imprisoned in that courtroom today, because I wanted to get up and leave and I couldn’t,” Dail said. “Right now, I want to look forward, and this is not allowing me to look forward.”
Michaels' attorney did not return phone calls from WRAL. Dail's attorney asked for the case to be dismissed.
There was no word on when the judge will issue his ruling.
In August, new DNA evidence showed Dail did not rape a 12-year-old Goldsboro girl on Sept. 4, 1987.
Dail is living in Florida and said his son recently moved there to live with him.
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