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Family of raped student gets $22m

CHICAGO — The parents of a California woman who was raped and injured after Chicago police released her from custody in a troubled neighborhood despite her obvious mental problems said Thursday that a $22.5 million settlement with the city is a ‘‘bittersweet victory’’ that will help pay for her extensive continuing therapy.

The payout is the largest settlement for police misconduct in the city’s history. It was approved Thursday by the City Council at the same time as the settlement of another police abuse case, this one $10.25 million to a man who spent 26 years in prison for a murder he didn’t commit.

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After the council’s action, Christina Eilman’s mother and stepfather, Kathleen and Richard Paine, released their first public statement in years about the case, describing how the events had devastated their daughter’s life.

‘‘No amount of money will bring back the daughter we knew, the lovely young woman who was full of life and accepting of all people,’’ the Paines said. ‘‘Her life was dramatically changed after she came to Chicago and found herself in the grasp of several insensitive and uncaring police officers and detention aides who humiliated her, directed cruel and insensitive comments toward her, ignored her desperate need for help, and placed her in harm’s way.’’

Eilman’s federal lawsuit was scheduled to go to trial next week. The family initially sought $100 million, but agreed to the lesser amount during extensive negotiations.

Eilman was arrested at Midway International Airport in May 2006 because she was acting strangely and violently. Her parents phoned police from California asking them not to release the 21-year-old college student because she was bipolar.

Still, Eilman was released to fend for herself in a high-crime area. She ended up being raped at knifepoint before she fell or was thrown from a seventh-story window.

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