Toronto

Wrongfully convicted Ont. man gets $4.25M

A Toronto man who was wrongfully convicted of killing his four-year-old niece because of testimony by now disgraced pathologist Charles Smith will get $4.25 million in compensation.

A Toronto man who was wrongfully convicted of killing his four-year-old niece because of testimony by now disgraced pathologist Charles Smith will get $4.25 million in compensation, Ontario Attorney General Chris Bentley announced Thursday.

William Mullins-Johnson speaks to reporters outside the Ontario Court of Appeal in July 2007. Mullins-Johnson, who was wrongly convicted of killing his niece, will receive $4.25 million in compensation. ((Aaron Harris/Canadian Press))

William Mullins-Johnson spent 12 years in prison after he was convicted in 1994 on evidence from the doctor that suggested he had raped and strangled his niece, Valin.

Mullins-Johnson was exonerated by the Ontario Court of Appeal in October 2007 after it was determined the child died from natural causes.

In overturning Mullins-Johnson's conviction, the court found there was no evidence he was guilty of any crime.

Bentley apologized to Mullins-Johnson for a "miscarriage of justice."

"On behalf of the government of Ontario, I offer my deepest and most sincere apologies to Mullins-Johnson and his family for the miscarriage of justice that occurred and the pain they had to endure. Mullins-Johnson has been working hard to rebuild his life and we wish him well as he continues that process," Bentley said in a statement.

Mullins-Johnson was one of several people who were wrongfully accused of killing children based on flawed evidence from the onetime leading forensic child pathologist, who had conducted more than 1,000 child autopsies while at Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children.

Mullins-Johnson has launched a lawsuit against several doctors, including Smith.

After resigning from Sick Kids in 2005, Smith accepted a pathology position in Saskatoon. He was fired after three months. A tribunal later reinstated him, but without a licence, Smith was unable to practise.

He is believed to still be living in Saskatchewan.

With files from The Canadian Press