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Federal judge: Armstrong can proceed with civil rights suit


MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - A federal judge says a man exonerated in the 1980 killing of a UW-Madison student can proceed with a federal civil rights lawsuit.

It’s the third such lawsuit Ralph Armstrong has filed, alleging civil rights violations in the way he was prosecuted.

Armstrong was convicted in the sexual assault and strangulation of UW student Charise Kamps 33 years ago.

In 2009, his criminal conviction was overturned. Federal Judge Barbara Crabb allowed Armstrong’s civil suit to proceed.

In that suit, Armstrong said prosecutors lost evidence which would have helped him in his original trial. He also alleged that State Crime Lab workers and others destroyed evidence before he could be re-tried in his criminal case.

Judge Crabb said a few of Armstrong’s claims could not be pursued in his civil rights case. They include alleged witness tampering, and the suppression of an apparent confession by a brother of Armstrong’s.