Denise Huskins, left, and her boyfriend Aaron Quinn listen as their attorneys speak at a news conference July 13 in Vallejo, Calif.

Denise Huskins, left, and her boyfriend Aaron Quinn listen as their attorneys speak at a news conference July 13 in Vallejo, Calif.

As police tried to blame a man for his girlfriend’s murder, she was alive — tied to a bed with a bike lock by a kidnapper — before authorities called the abduction and rape a “Gone Girl”-style hoax, a bombshell legal claim against the city charges.

Denise Huskins and her boyfriend Aaron Quinn filed a claim against the city of Vallejo Thursday, alleging the police department messed up the investigation before “placing a defamatory tattoo on their foreheads that can’t be wiped off,” as their attorney said.

“During the time they were interrogating Aaron, if they had pursued and tracked down the guy, there would’ve been no rape,” attorney Jim Wagstaffe told the Daily News Friday.

Huskins and Quinn were drugged, tied up and separated during a home invasion in March. Huskins was abducted in the trunk of Quinn’s stolen Toyota Camry, and the criminal demanded an $8,500 ransom.

Huskins was bound with zip-ties, a bike lock and blacked out swim goggles in a bed in South Lake Tahoe, Calif., according to the claim. The kidnapper raped her twice, claiming he was filming the incident to use it against her if she went to police. During the second assault, he said his “boss” wanted him to rape again to get better footage.

Two days after the break-in, the kidnapper drove Huskins to her dad’s Huntington Beach home and released her without receiving any money.

Meanwhile, Quinn was forced to wear prison pants emblazoned with “Solano Prison,” a dirty shirt and no underwear as police interrogated him and took his clothes, the claim said. Quinn felt he wasn’t allowed to leave the room, which was locked, and he was prevented from speaking with his family or attorneys while an officer threatened to make him look like a “cold, calculated monster,” according to the claim.

“And while the officers were dithering, Denise was still in the hands of the kidnapper, who sexually assaulted again,” the claim said.

Although Quinn told police the kidnapper had said he would call and email with updates, police turned his phone on airplane mode as they interrogated him over 18 hours, missing at least two calls, the claim said. This meant police missed an opportunity to trace the calls to a kidnapper, Wagstaffe said.

After Huskins “inconveniently showed up alive” following attempts to blame Quinn for murder, police told reporters Huskins and Quinn had staged the abduction and sent authorities “on a wild goose chase,” Wagstaffe said, calling it victim blaming.

Police said there was no evidence at the time to substantiate their claims.

Huskins did not immediately report she had been raped, which raised suspicions. But she was scared because the kidnapper had threatened to kill her, the claim said.

Matthew Muller, 38, was arrested for the kidnapping of Denise Huskins many took for a hoax, police said.DUBLIN POLICE DEPARTMENT
Matthew Muller, 38, was arrested for the kidnapping of Denise Huskins many took for a hoax, police said.

When Huskins asked for a rape kit, authorities told her “keep your clothes on” and did not take her seriously, the claim alleged.

After Huskins’ mom told police her daughter had been molested at the age of 12, Detective Matthew Mustard said it made sense that Huskins would make up a kidnapping because sexual assault victims try to get attention, the claim said.

Police were also suspicious that Quinn waited hours to go to police, but the intruder claimed to be watching him on surveillance and pledged to kill Huskins if he went to police, according to the claim.

In July, the police department in Dublin, Calif., nabbed the alleged kidnapper, Michael Muller, after a similar incident.

Vallejo police missed or “intentionally ignored” evidence that “could have kept Denise from further harm,” the claim says.

The claim, seeking an unspecified number of monetary damages, is a prerequisite to a lawsuit. Under California law, the city has six months to respond to a claim, and if it rejects the claim, Huskins and Quinn can sue.

In an apology letter to Quinn and Huskins, police said their comments, though later proving to be “unnecessarily harsh and offensive,” were “based on our findings at the time.”

Vallejo police did not return calls for comment.

While the Daily News typically does not name rape victims, Huskins “never wants another woman to go through what she went through,” Wagstaffe said.

“My clients do sincerely hope what comes for us is the lesson that we don’t blame the victims, we don’t rub salt in the wounds or tattoo them with false charges,” he said.

‘Gone Girl’ Victim Tied To Bed With Bike Lock, Raped As Police Interrogate Boyfriend – Couple Sues Cops


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