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After four trials, Cal Harris goes for fifth

ELMIRA, N.Y. (18 NEWS) - Cal Harris, tried four times in the disappearance of his wife, is going after the people he says targeted and hunted him for 15 years.

Harris had two convictions reversed and spent three years in prison. A third trial ended in a deadlocked jury before a trial judge found him not guilty.

The federal lawsuit filed by Harris lists dozens of people in Tioga County. Among them, police, prosecutors and witnesses who testified against him

"I'm not going to let these people get away with it anymore," Cal Harris said in a press conference in June of last year. "I've been abused long enough. My kids and I have been abused long enough and we're not going to be abused anymore."

That was Harris just three weeks after his final murder trial, arrested on stalking charges against a New York State Police investigator. The investigator testified against Harris in the last murder trial. 

"The incident took place on a public street where I was just minding my own business," Harris said.

Harris was tried four times over an eleven year period in the death of his wife Michelle, who disappeared on September 11, 2001.

Now, Harris has filed a lawsuit against those whom he says were after him in a witch hunt like fashion.

Among those named in the suit are Tioga County officials, members of the District Attorney's office, New York State Police investigators and 20 unidentified so-called John and Jane Does. It's a move his attorney hinted at after Harris was acquitted of murder.

"There are people, and they know who they are, who hunted Cal Harris for 15 years. Today, the hunted become the prey," Bruce Barket, Harris' defense attorney, said. "So this is not over, by a long shot. We have developed evidence, we have investigated leads we are following up now."

And they're doing just that, seeking an unspecified amount of damages for what they call 15 years of persecution.

"I've been ripped away from my kids three times now," Harris said. "Three times I've been ripped away from my kids and that's been hard."

An initial hearing in the lawsuit is set for december 15 in federal court.

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