Friday, March 17, 2017

Once Called a Hoax, Vallejo Kidnapping Leads to Prison

At the Los Angeles Times, "Harvard-educated former attorney sentenced to 40 years in prison for bizarre Vallejo kidnapping":

It had been nearly two years since Denise Huskins had been in the same room as the man who kidnapped her in the early morning darkness.

Standing at a podium in a Sacramento courthouse, she faced him. Then she turned her words against the man — a Harvard-educated former attorney — who had bound, drugged and raped her twice.

“Now we meet face to face, eye to eye,” Huskins told Matthew Muller. “I’m Denise Huskins, the woman behind the blindfold.”

Huskins’ family and friends grew teary eyed as she described her pain after Muller kidnapped her on March 23, 2015, and after the Vallejo Police Department, at one point, publicly portrayed the case as a hoax.

In an emotional scene, Huskins asked that Muller be sentenced to life in prison.

“I know, without doubt or hesitation, that as long as he walks free, there will be more victims,” she said.

At the sentencing, Muller’s defense attorney argued for a 30-year sentence, citing his client’s struggles with mental illness.

“I’m sick with shame,” Muller said, adding that he would accept whatever sentence was imposed.

His parents sat with their younger son and their family and friends, as they waited in silence for U.S. District Court Judge Troy L. Nunley to hand down his sentence:

Forty years in prison.

The kidnapping took place before dawn as Huskins and her boyfriend, Aaron Quinn, slept in the master bedroom of his home on Mare Island. The couple awoke to find a stranger standing in the room.

Using a stun gun and a water pistol made to look like a gun, Muller ordered the couple to lie still while he bound and blindfolded them and gave them a sleep-inducing liquid, prosecutors said. A recorded message played over headsets, threatening electric shock if the couple did not comply with his orders.

Muller placed Huskins in the trunk of Quinn’s 2000 Toyota Camry and moved her to the trunk of another car before driving her to his family’s South Lake Tahoe home...
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