Couple Gets $2.5M After Cops Called Kidnapping a Hoax

Police compared California couple's claims to 'Gone Girl'
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 17, 2018 2:50 PM CDT

(Newser) – A California woman whose kidnapping and rape were dismissed by police as a hoax akin to Gone Girl has settled with the City of Vallejo and its police department for $2.5 million, her family tells KGO. In 2015, Denise Huskins and boyfriend Aaron Quinn were drugged inside their home by a masked intruder, who kidnapped the then-30-year-old woman. Huskins was released outside her family's home two days later after being sexually assaulted. At the time, their claims were dismissed by police, who accused Huskins of making up the kidnapping. They only came around after the kidnapper, Matthew Muller, a Harvard-trained attorney and former Marine, was implicated in a different crime. He claimed to be part of a gang of "gentlemen criminals."

While police eventually apologized to Huskins and Quinn, a federal judge rejected the city's effort to toss the couple's lawsuit. The settlement was reached Thursday, the AP reports. An attorney for Huskins and Quinn says the couple is "grateful." "One can only hope that the message of this settlement will be that victims are to be believed and that the police will accept a woman’s highly credible report that she was kidnapped and raped," KTVU quotes James Wagstaffe as saying. As part of the settlement, the City of Vallejo admits no wrongdoing. Muller, who pleaded guilty to the kidnapping and even criticized police for not believing Huskins, is serving a 40-year prison sentence. (Read more kidnapping stories.)

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