A couple has reached a $2.5 million settlement with a Northern California city and its police department after investigators dismissed the girlfriend's bizarre kidnapping as a hoax.
Police in Vallejo initially discounted a report by Denise Huskins and her boyfriend, Aaron Quinn, that a masked intruder drugged them in their home and then kidnapped Huskins in 2015 by a man who claimed to be part of a band of "gentlemen criminals." Quinn was left bound inside the couple's Vallejo home.
The assailant sexually assaulted Huskins and released her two days later outside her family's home in Southern California. The Associated Press doesn't normally name victims of sexual assault, but Huskins has frequently spoken publicly about the case in the past.
Upon Huskins' reappearance, Vallejo police called the kidnapping a hoax and erroneously likened it to the story "Gone Girl,'' in which a woman goes missing and then lies about being kidnapped when she reappears.
Police realized the couple was telling the truth only after the perpetrator, disbarred Harvard University-trained attorney Matthew Muller, was implicated in another crime.
Muller, a former Marine, is serving a 40-year prison term.
U.S. District Judge Troy Nunley ruled last July that a reasonable jury could eventually decide that Vallejo investigators' conduct was extreme and outrageous.
Quinn's mother, Marianne Quinn, told the San Francisco Chronicle that the settlement came Thursday.