A professional juggler who lost his job on an Australian cruise ship while jailed in the US in a bizarre case of mistaken identity has successfully sued police.
Two rural Nevada counties have agreed to pay 56-year-old Sean Laughlin $US250,000 ($353,000) after jailing him for 18 days in 2016 for a burglary he didn't commit.
'Sean certainly deserves it,' Mr Laughlin's lawyer, Terri Keyser-Cooper, said.
'He spent 18 days locked up for something he didn't do, lost his job with the cruise company — a gig he had had since 1991 — and nearly went out of his mind.'
The American entertainer's ordeal began in December 2016 when a state trooper stopped him for a minor traffic offence in Carson City.
A routine warrant check showed that a Sean Laughlin was wanted for failing to appear in court for a residential burglary in Pahrump, 620 kilometres away.
Police said the theft occurred in March 2016. Jewellery, used women's clothing, DVDs, and an electric screwdriver, totalling about $US4000 ($5656), were taken.
Mr Laughlin told police he was in Australia when the crime happened, as he was contracted to perform on the Royal Caribbean 'Voyager', his lawsuit states.
The cruise began in Brisbane and ended in Sydney, and 'there was no opportunity for Laughlin to leave the ship to fly to America to steal used clothing', the lawsuit says.
He also insisted he had no criminal record, had never been to Pahrump and had not received a summons.
But he was booked into jail where his bail rose as high as $US675,000 ($954,000) before he was set free 18 days later with no explanation and without ever seeing a lawyer.
He filed a lawsuit in US District Court in Reno in October against Nye and Lyon counties, accusing them of violating his constitutional due process rights and Nevada law requiring that jailed suspects see a judge within 72 hours.
Mr Laughlin won, with US Magistrate Robert McQuaid Jr approving the settlement on February 7.
Lawyers representing the two counties did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Throughout his incarceration, Mr Laughlin protested almost daily to deputies, inmates — 'anyone who might listen,' the lawsuit said.
The lawsuit said if he'd been able to go before a judge as required, he could have shown he was the victim of misidentification, had been overseas when the burglary occurred, and never received a summons.