CARROLLTON, Ohio - An immigrant who has spent most of his life in northeast Ohio will no longer face deportation after authorities finally cleared him of a crime that occurred four decades ago.
Emil Jaroszyk's 1970 robbery conviction in Carroll County went unnoticed by immigration officials until he began to make Social Security inquiries in preparation for retirement.
At that time, the 66-year-old Jaroszyk -- a legal U.S. permanent resident who's been in the country since his family fled post-World War II Europe -- was threatened with deportation because of the felony conviction.
The (Canton) Repository ( http://bit.ly/10EVjJP ) reported that newly discovered evidence showed Jaroszyk didn't commit the robbery. A judge vacated the conviction Monday.
Jaroszyk was born in Germany to a Ukrainian father and Polish mother who moved to Canton in 1951.
Retired Carroll County Sheriff William Offenberger backed clearing Jaroszyk's name. Offenberger was a deputy sheriff at the time he was the star witness against Jaroszyk.
To clear his name, Offenberger testified in January that another suspect had emerged soon after Jaroszyk was convicted and sentenced to 25 years in prison.
The trial judge released Jaroszyk from prison 40 years ago after Offenberger and his boss told the judge about the new suspect. He had served 10 months in prison.
Jaroszky told The Associated Press before the judge's ruling that he was gratified by the support of family and friends and was determined to clear his name. "I got convicted of something I didn't do," he said.
Supporters included his ex-wife, Adinia, who defended his reputation.
"The man's innocent. He didn't do it," she said. "He got dragged through the mud."
Adinia, who was married to Jaroszyk at the time, questioned the legitimacy of the original criminal case.
"The whole thing stunk because it wasn't him," she said. "Emil would have never have done anything like that."