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Freed inmates sue Ohio crime lab worker

CLEVELAND (AP) — Two men who spent 13 years in prison on wrongful convictions are suing a disgraced Ohio crime lab worker who helped put them there.

Thomas Siller and Walter Zimmer accused the crime lab worker — forensic serologist Joseph Serowik — of fabricating evidence. They also named the city of Cleveland, which they claim had failed to properly train and supervise the worker.

The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer reports that Siller and Zimmer were eventually exonerated of charges in the 1997 beating death of a 74-year-old woman. A third co-defendant, Jason Smith, later confessed to charges of perjury and obstruction of justice in connection with his testimony against them.

Serowik was later fired. Several experts who studied Serowik's work found cases of professional misconduct and "scientific fraud."

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