Denise Huskins and her boyfriend, Aaron Quinn, are suing the city of Vallejo, California, for defamation and infliction of emotional stress. Last year, the police department dismissed Huskins’ kidnapping as a hoax and refused to properly investigate it.
As reported by Fox News, the couple filed the kidnapping hoax lawsuit, naming the city and two police officers as defendants on Tuesday.
According to filed documents, the police carried out a campaign to belittle Huskins and Quinn after the woman’s abduction last spring. By calling the kidnapping a hoax and associating it with the movie Gone Girl, the police generated a damaging media frenzy which continued to haunt the victims for months.
“News outlets across the world likened Huskins to the lead character in the film Gone Girl, and placed Huskins’s picture next to that of the lead character, including one depicting the character naked and covered in blood,” said the complaint.
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Matthew Muller, a former attorney and U.S. Marine, was arrested on June 8 and charged with the kidnapping of Huskins. While investigating another crime that occurred in Dublin, California, police discovered a cell phone at the scene that belonged to Muller.
Aaron Quinn said that on March 23, 2015 an unknown assailant broke into the couple’s home while they were in bed. The attacker tied them up, then blindfolded and drugged them.
The kidnapper then took Huskins, threw her into the trunk of a car, and drove off. Huskins later claimed she had been raped twice after the abductor took her to an undisclosed location.
According to the lawsuit, police detained Quinn and accused him of killing Huskins instead of focusing on finding the woman and her abductor. They confiscated his clothes, locked him in the interrogation room, and would not let him contact an attorney.
They also took blood samples and forced Quinn to take a lie detector test. During the 18-hour interrogation, police put his cell phone in silent mode, causing him to miss several calls, emails, and text messages from the kidnapper.
The lawsuit contends police ignored evidence of the home break-in, like slit screens and holes drilled into windows. Quinn was never officially charged with a crime and eventually released by the police, but only after his family was able to obtain an attorney.
Ransom money was also demanded by the abductor. However, the woman showed up at her parents’ home in Huntington Beach two days after the kidnapping, just hours before the payoff deadline.
It was then that police claimed the whole abduction was a sham. Police Detective Matthew Mustard contacted a cousin of Huskins with accusations of a kidnapping hoax perpetrated by the couple. He told other family members that Huskins was to be prosecuted for criminal activity and offered immunity for anyone that came forward with the truth.
Meanwhile, public information officer Lieutenant Kenny Park issued a public statement and held a news conference accusing Quinn and Huskins of faking the kidnapping. He said the investigation was a terrible waste of the community’s time and money.
The lawsuit contends that Vallejo police refused to give Huskins a sexual assault examination and suggested she was just looking for attention and some excitement.
“To date, VPD has not provided any basis for any of its public statements, nor has it provided any evidence to justify its disastrous conclusions … This campaign of character assassination was neither required nor part of any professional police activity,” wrote the attorneys representing Quinn and Huskins.
The Vallejo kidnapping hoax lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in Sacramento and seeks unspecified damages for defamation, unreasonable search and seizure, false arrest, and false imprisonment. In July, the city of Vallejo sent a letter of apology to both Denise Huskins and Aaron Quinn.
[Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]