- Associated Press - Friday, February 8, 2019

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) - Two Iowa landlords who say they were falsely accused of stealing a tenant’s washer and dryer are suing a detective and prosecutor they blame for unfairly arresting and charging them.

The Linn County attorney’s office dropped felony theft charges against the men last year after neighbors testified that they did not witness any such crime as the detective claimed in his police report.

Brian Hutchcroft Darling and Frank Massingham have filed a federal lawsuit in Cedar Rapids accusing County Attorney Jerry Vander Sanden and police officer Justin Boecker of violating their civil rights. They claim the witness statements were fabricated, and they are seeking damages for being arrested, charged without probable cause and facing prosecution for six months before the case fell apart.

A police spokesman declined comment.

The case stemmed from a former tenant’s claim that the landlords stole her washer and dryer after she moved out.

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