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Victim Of Former Suffolk County Police Chief's Beating, Cover-Up Freed From Prison

RIVERHEAD, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) -- A Long Island man who was beaten by a former Suffolk County police chief after he was accused of stealing sex toys and other items from his police vehicle has been released from prison.

Christopher Loeb, of Smithtown, Long Island, was jailed after a duffel bag containing sex toys and police equipment vanished from Suffolk County Police Chief James Burke's vehicle.

Burke beat and threatened to kill Loeb at a police station in 2012. Burke is serving a four-year prison term after pleading guilty to the assault and cover-up last year.

"For the first time in four years, I can actually enjoy my freedom, knowing that James Burke is incarcerated and unable to harm my family or me," Loeb said Tuesday.

Loeb, a heroin addict and petty thief, served three years after pleading guilty to a weapon possession charge. He was in prison on a parole violation when his conviction was overturned Tuesday. He still faces charges involving some stolen items but is not expected to face any additional jail time, Xirinachs reported.

"I was just standing up for my rights, that's it," he said. "It's shameful that it took an outside agency to come into and unmask what's really going on in Suffolk County," Loeb said.

His attorney called him courageous and said he will seek full exoneration.

"The evidence and the prosecution was based on perjury, on lies and on fabricated evidence that was tampered with by the police," Loeb's attorney Bruce Barket told WCBS 880's Mike Xirinachs. "The police literately created a crime scene, they falsified reports."

A special prosecutor was appointed to the case because of the Suffolk County DA's ties to the former police chief.

"There was perjury during the pretrial suppression hearing. You can't do that in our system even if a person is guilty," special prosecutor William Ferris said.

He said he'll still consider prosecuting Loeb on a parole violation.

(TM and © Copyright 2017 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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