Judge says lawsuit can continue in bizarre Vallejo kidnapping case

FILE - This June, 2015 file booking photo released by the Dublin, Calif., Police Department shows Matthew Muller after he was arrested on robbery and assault charges. Muller, a disbarred Harvard University-trained attorney, faces decades in prison when he is sentenced Thursday, March 16, 2017, for a kidnapping so elaborate and bizarre that police in California initially dismissed it as a hoax. (Dublin Police Department via AP, File)

 

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A federal judge says a couple’s defamation lawsuit against a Northern California city can proceed after a kidnapping so bizarre that police initially called it a hoax.

U.S. District Judge Troy Nunley ruled Wednesday that a reasonable jury could eventually decide that Vallejo investigators’ conduct was extreme and outrageous.

Police discounted the story told by Denise Huskins and her boyfriend, Aaron Quinn, after she reappeared following her kidnapping in 2015.

She said she was drugged and dragged from their home, while Quinn described being bound and drugged by a man who claimed to be part of a band of “gentleman criminals.”

Police realized the couple was telling the truth only after the perpetrator, disbarred Harvard University-trained attorney Matthew Muller, was implicated in another crime. He’s serving a 40-year prison term.

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