MODESTO, Calif. — A Ceres man has been exonerated of kidnapping charges after surveillance footage proving his innocence recently came to light.
Attorneys say a 14-year-old girl made up the whole story back in June.
"It gives me my life back," Sandeep Singh, an almond farmer from Ceres said.
It's been a long seven months for Singh.
"My whole community found out about it. That was the worst time of my life," he said.
Back in June, Singh, 42, was driving down Tokay Avenue, on his way to a nearby shoe store in Modesto, when he crossed paths with a teenage girl that would forever change his life.
"She just turned and made me feel like she was crossing the street in front of my truck. So I just kind of felt like she was going to cross the street. So, just to alert her, I honked. I was on the phone the whole time," he said.
He got to the store and when he came out minutes later, police were waiting for him.
"They just right away, they asked me, 'Is this your truck?' I said yes, and they handcuffed me and I was asking like what happened, what's going on?" he said.
Modesto Police say a 14-year-girl said a man approached her in that vehicle around 4 p.m. She says he grabbed her as she was walking along Tokay Avenue, but she was able to get away and call for help.
Singh was arrested and charged with kidnapping. He spent a few hours in jail before posting a $200,000 bond.But what they didn't know seven months ago was that this entire exchange was all caught on camera by a nearby church from their security camera footage.
"The video, when we got [it] it showed conclusively that Sandeep was innocent," Kirk McAllister, Singh's attorney said.
In the video obtained by Singh's attorney, you can see his bright yellow truck driving by the 14-year-old girl and you can clearly see that he never stopped or even slowed down. McAllister said the teenager made the whole story up.
"Finally on the 31st of January, the prosecutor confronted the young woman with this evidence and she admitted that this entire story was a lie," McAllister said.
And last Wednesday, a judge said Singh was factually innocent and his case was dropped.
"I cried, honestly. It all happened because of all of those prayers," he said.
Singh says he's ready for his life to get back to normal.
"Now I feel like I can go back to my work, my community, I can go out as a free man, as an innocent man, as I was from day one," he said.
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