Citing a “continuous pattern of malicious and unlawful conduct,” the Vallejo woman whom police accused of faking her March kidnapping has filed a claim against the city.
The claim, seeking unspecified damages, was filed Thursday and accuses the Vallejo Police Department of negligence, injury to reputation and other damages. If the claim is rejected by the city, the couple represented by Kerr & Wagstaffe LLP would be free to file a lawsuit. The city, citing the likelihood of a lawsuit, declined to comment.
In July, the FBI revealed that Orangevale attorney Matthew Muller was in custody for Huskins’ kidnapping and was suspected in at least one other incident.
Also named in the 22-page claim is Denise Huskins’ boyfriend Aaron Quinn, 31. The claim alleges police took DNA samples from Quinn, forced him to take a lie detector test and interrogated him for several hours.
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Quinn called Vallejo police March 23 to report Huskins’ kidnapping from their Mare Island home. He told investigators they were awakened at gunpoint and drugged. He said he woke to find Huskins gone. He said he received several texts and emails from the kidnappers requesting a ransom of $17,000, split into two payments, the claim said.
“Rather than recognizing that Aaron was telling the truth and that Denise – and the public – were at extreme danger from a violent predator, the Vallejo police immediately and recklessly assumed, based on nothing but speculation, that Denise was already dead and that Aaron had killed her,” the claim reads. “Thus, they proceeded to interrogate Aaron aggressively for 18 straight hours, while Denise was still in the hands of a violent kidnapper and being subjected to even more grievous harm.”
Huskins, 30, was held hostage in a small room, drugged and raped, the claim said.
Two days later, Huskins was dropped off at her family's home in Huntington Beach. In a March 25 press release, the police department suggested the kidnapping was a hoax.
“Today, there is no evidence to support the claims that this was a stranger abduction or an abduction at all. Given the facts that have been presented thus far, this event appears to be an orchestrated event and not a kidnapping,” it read.
In a subsequent press conference, department officials described the search effort as “wasted” resources.
“Mr. Quinn and Ms. Huskins have plundered valuable resources away from our community, and have taken the focus away from the true victims of our community, while instilling fear amongst our community members. So, if anything, it is Mr. Quinn and Ms. Huskins that owes this community an apology,” police Lt. Kenny Park told the media.
According to the claim, Huskins sought a public apology, but police refused. The claim includes a copy of a letter from police Chief Andrew Bidou saying the department would make a public apology once Muller was indicted.