Chism Files New $10 Million Lawsuit

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled state patrol detectives committed judicial deception when they arrested Todd Chism a year before on child pornography charges.

Just last week a Stevens County jury acquitted Chism of charges he assaulted a pair of state troopers on the road outside his Nine Mile Falls Home.

The Chisms filed a new $10 million excessive force claim against the state patrol for an incident that happened in front of the Chism’s home back in April of 2010.

The lawsuit had no economic teeth until today’s ruling because a federal judge in Spokane had previously decided that these state troopers could not be sued because they were doing legitimate police work.

But now the higher court has stripped those officers of their immunity because their investigation was so dishonest.

“Words cannot describe how much I have suffered and my family has suffered and unfortunately will continue to. I am innocent,” Chism said.

Chism was arrested in 2007 and accused of buying child pornography on the internet.

However, a search of his home and computers turned up no sign of child porn, and four months later the state patrol admitted Chism was actually the victim of identity theft.

“The most important comment that I think I can start out with is there has been no evidence what so ever of a download by the Chism’s of child pornography,” Captain Jeff Devere said.

When applying for Chism’s arrest warrant, state patrol investigators insisted Chism had downloaded “kiddie porn” and now the 9th Circuit had called troopers on the carpet for making false statements and omissions.

“They actually represented they had done all those things… As a statement of fact and the 9th Circuit took a look at the facts and said ‘Wait a minute you’ve engaged in judicial deception. None of these things you’ve put in your affidavit were true,’ ” Attorney Bob Dunn said.

The 9th circuit also criticized the state patrol for not telling the judge who issued the warrant that the Chisms had recently been victims of identity theft and called the Washington State Patrol’s affidavit dishonest.