CBS46 News

Falsely accused Gwinnett County man seeks justice
Peter Meyer says he wears a modern day scarlet letter – punished for a crime he didn’t commit.

“I was enduring extreme torture. It’s what I call it, it’s what it was. And I didn’t do anything,” Meyer said. “And I couldn’t do anything about it to stop it, I just had to take it, over and over and over.”

Meyer spent almost two years in Gwinnett County jail, accused of molesting a 5-year-old girl.

“I had no idea the severity of that charge, I had no idea who it was against, I had no information,” he said.

Meyer and his attorney, Thomas Reynolds, shared his story exclusively with CBS46.

“They never even questioned him before he was arrested,” Reynolds said.

In 2011, Meyer was exonerated but the damage will never go away. Convicted or innocent, imprisoned child molesters endure unimaginable terror.

“Charges like this in jail will get you killed. I’m lucky to have survived. I did a lot of things to have to survive,” Meyer said.

He is suing Gwinnett County and its police department for mishandling the investigation.

“I had just gotten off work, I was sitting out in front of the house about ready to go inside, when two officers came around, and handcuffed me,” Meyer said.

After a day care worker at La Petite Academy in Norcross claimed the child was acting strange.

Meyer said he was doing his roommate a favor – dropping her off at school.

La Petite is also named in the lawsuit. We reached out the day care, and officials there declined to comment.

Meyer’s attorney says it’s too many innocent people in jail.

“That’s what we’ve got to be vigilant about. Making sure the law enforcement and criminal justice system do not blindly go after the accused, but that they follow proper protocols,” Reynolds said.

Meyer is one of the lucky ones. He was cleared by a polygraph test — given by the same expert that cleared the Centennial Olympic Park bombing suspect Richard Jewell.

And he got his job back as a server at Brookwood Grill in Roswell.

“They’ve dealt with me cause they understand my situation, if it wasn’t for them I probably wouldn’t be able to survive,” Meyer said.

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