Tuesday, March 20, 2018


California couple falsely accused of staging wild kidnapping wins $2.5M settlement

By Nancy Dillon

New York Daily News
March 16, 2018

The California couple falsely accused of staging a bizarre kidnapping hoax in 2015 will get a multimillion-dollar settlement from the city of Vallejo and its police department.

Victims Denise Huskins and Aaron Quinn are due to receive $2.5 million after cops publicly dismissed their horrific ordeal as an elaborate fabrication, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

"It's now time to get past it," Quinn's mother Marianne Quinn told the newspaper. "It's a nice amount of money, but when a house in the Bay Area costs a million and a half, it's not a lot. I was hoping they would get enough to buy a house and send their kids off to college."

The couple, both 32, are due to marry in September.

They sued the city of Vallejo in March 2016 saying the police department unfairly branded them liars who drained public resources with a "wild goose chase."

Cops simply didn't believe the couple's claims they were blindfolded and drugged by a powerful assailant who whisked Huskins away to a cabin in the mountains and then dropped her off hundreds of miles away in her prior hometown of Huntington Beach with a pair of sunglasses.

The kidnapping was very real, however, and during the two days she was abducted, Huskins was raped twice, her lawyers said.

Disbarred Harvard-educated lawyer Matthew Muller was later sentenced to 40 years in prison for the crime.

He reportedly used a remote-controlled drone to spy on Huskins and Quinn before he hatched his elaborate plan to break into their home, kidnap Huskins and demand ransom money.

The night of the abduction, he reportedly tied the couple up, forced them to drink a liquid sedative and played a pre-recorded message that suggested they would be hurt if they didn't comply.

Muller's lawyers said the former attorney and U.S. Marine suffered from "paranoia, a break with reality, depression, anxiety, suicidal ideation, mania, and bipolar disorder."

Speaking at Muller's sentencing last year, Huskins recalled the physical and emotional torture she endured as he bound her with zip ties, a bike lock and blacked-out swim goggles and sexually assaulted her at his parents' property in South Lake Tahoe.

"You treated me like an object, a toy, an animal," she said in an emotional court statement reported by the Associated Press.

"I still have nightmares every night," she said. "Sleep is not rest for me. It is a trigger."

In court, Muller said he was "sick with shame" for the "pain and horror" he caused.

When police publicly dismissed the case as a waste of time, officials likened it to "Gone Girl," the thriller novel and movie about a woman who plans her own disappearance for devious reasons then claims she was kidnapped when she reappears.

Authorities apologized after Muller was arrested for a robbery elsewhere in the San Francisco Bay Area and reportedly possessed goggles with a blonde hair attached and a computer stolen from Quinn.

During the ordeal, Muller called Quinn's cell phone and sent emails demanding thousands of dollars in ransom.


Trey Rusk said...

2.5 million seems like a small amount for that big of a fuck up.

bob walsh said...

They can take it out of their Cultural Diversity Training budget.