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Charges dropped against man who spent 2.5 years in jail awaiting trial

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Updated: 1/01 12:23 am
ORLANDO, Fla. -- An Orange County man who spent two and a half years in jail awaiting trial has had charges against him dropped.

Larry Williams, 68, was accused of exposing himself to a young girl in 2009, but after serving time behind bars, the case crumbled and the victim agreed to have the case dismissed.

After five years, the victim was tired of the drawn-out legal process, but the former defendant's attorney told Channel 9 shoddy police work also played a part in getting his client off the hook.

Winter Garden police arrested Williams for allegedly exposing himself to a 12-year-old girl at Barnes and Noble.

"I was never convicted of anything. I was a suspect for two and a half years," said Williams.

WFTV Channel 9 spoke with Williams at his weekly dialysis appointment, where he blamed his health on being in jail for a crime he didn't commit.

"It was pretty miserable," said Williams.

State Attorney Jeff Ashton's office told Channel 9 it was in the best interest of taxpayers to throw out the case.

Williams' attorney feels the state got its "pound of flesh," which was 800 days in jail for the former school teacher who was unable to bond out.

"It ruined my health, my kidneys, my heart," said Williams. "I had two heart attacks in jail. Open heart surgery in jail."

Williams' attorney, Richard Zaleski, said investigators tried to paint his client as a predator.

Channel 9 learned Williams pleaded no contest in 1986 to touching a young girl and in 2007 was accused of exposing himself at Disney's Blizzard Beach, though he was never arrested.

Video: WFTV Orlando
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