Innocence Project director is outed for exchanging intimate messages and videos with convicted murderer who demanded $2 million to keep their prison romance secret - as their saucy texts are revealed

2024-06-17 https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-13536689/Innocence-Project-sexts-blackmail-kaneb-funches-caldwell.html HaiPress

A California lawyer who built her career exonerating convicted murderers has been accused of exchanging sexts with one to secure the freedom of another.

Paige Kaneb of the Northern California Innocence Project (NCIP) won international plaudits for overturning the conviction of Maurice Caldwell,20 years after he was jailed for the 1990 murder of Judy Acosta after a drug deal that went wrong.

She began corresponding with Marritte Funches after he admitted to Acosta's killing while in prison for a separate murder.

Funches,now 53,claims that Kaneb sent him sexually explicit messages in a bid to secure his co-operation and has released the messages to the SF Standard after turning on the lawyer and allegedly attempting to blackmail her for $2 million.

'You make my heart jump,' Kaneb told him in one text. 'You give me butterflies. And somehow you always have.'

Lionel Rubalcava was one of 25 people whose murder convictions have since been overturned through the work of NCIP,while Kaneb has risen to be the organization's legal executive  

A spokesperson for Kaneb said she only began reciprocating Funches' sexualized messages in August 2023,long after Caldwell's release had been secured.

NCIP which is based at Santa Clara University has begun an investigation into Kaneb who is now its legal director.

It has helped overturn 25 more murder convictions since Caldwell was freed and insists that his exoneration is safe.

'As with any unit of the university,when we receive any allegations of inappropriate conduct by an employee,we refer the matter to the university for investigation,' executive director Todd Fries said in a statement.

'We take this information seriously,' a spokeswoman for San Francisco's city attorney said. 'And will be looking into the matter.'

Nevada

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