West Des Moines Settles ‘Mistaken Identity’ Arrest Complaint for $450,000

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – The city of West Des Moines has made a major payout to settle a complaint over an arrest that was the result of mistaken identity.

City Attorney Dick Scieszinski provided the general release documents relating to the settlement after a request by Channel 13. The settlement was finalized in August and details a payment of $450,000 to Matthew Rodrigues in return for his agreement not to pursue legal action against the city of West Des Moines and its employees.

Rodrigues was arrested in April and charged with a sexual assault police say took place at a West Des Moines Motel 6. He spent 11 days in the Dallas County Jail before being released and having the charge dismissed. Investigators determined Rodrigues was innocent and his arrest had been due to a case of mistaken identity.

Another man was later arrested in the case, Salvador Junior Pineda, and in June he entered a guilty plea and was sentenced to prison.

Scieszinski says the settlement was paid out through the city’s insurance policy.