‘Ivy league’ rapist, Matthew Muller, was jailed 40 years – Lady dubbed ‘Gone Girl hoaxer’ describes kidnap ordeal at the hands of Harvard-trained lawyer who took her hostage

Denise Huskins, 31,who cops disbelieving  dubbed the ‘Gone Girl hoaxer’ described her kidnap ordeal as Matthew Muller took her hostage, drugged and raped her

Addressing the disbarred Harvard educated attorney and ex-Marine in court, Huskins said ‘You treated me like an animal’ victim

 

Muller abducted Denise and raped her while he held her hostage for two days

He broke into her home before tying up her and boyfriend Aaron Quinn and drugging them. He held them hostage for two days

39-year-old Matthew Muller, who pled guilty last year to kidnapping, Denise and holding her for ransom in March 2015, was sentenced to 40 years in prison, Thursday

 

Police initially dismissed kidnapping as a ‘Gone Girl hoax’ before apologizing

Her parents wrote to the judge this week asking for the harshest penalty to be imposed on Muller

A 31-year-old California woman who was drugged and dragged from her home in a crime so bizarre that police initially thought it was a hoax has told her attacker he treated her ‘like an animal, like a toy’.
Matthew Muller, a disbarred Harvard University educated attorney, was sentenced to serve forty years behind bars behind bars for kidnapping Denise Huskins, and holding her for ransom tin March of 2015.
He could face further sex assault charges.
Huskins described the two days of physical and psychological torture she endured after Muller snatched her from her and her boyfriend’s San Francisco Bay Area home two years ago.
She told her kidnapper: ‘You treated me like an object, a toy, an animal.’

Denise Huskins and Aaron Quinn [Photo center and right] were tied up and drugged when Muller broke into their home in Vallejo in March 2015. They are pictured in a press conference after the abduction

Fighting back tears, during her testimony, Huskins said: ‘I still have nightmares every night. Sleep is not rest for me. It is a trigger.’
She also shared how she had been sexually molested as a child and how the attacks brought back memories of that assault.
You flopped me around the bed like a rag doll..The only way I got through it was to picture that it was Aaron that I was with, and that will haunt me for the rest of my life.
She recounted how Muller made her ‘perform’ when he raped her for a second time.
‘The second time you forced me to kiss you and say things to make it seem like we were a legitimate couple, she told the court.
‘You couldn’t just take my physical body and let me be detached from it, like I was in the first rape as you flopped me around the bed like a rag doll. This second time, you made me perform, ‘let’s pretend like we are with other people, the people we love, to get us through it’, as if this were happening to the both of us.
‘I saw right through all of this, but knew I had to appease you. The only way I got through it was to picture that it was Aaron that I was with, and that will haunt me for the rest of my life. I know you did that on purpose, to leave your mark on me in the most special and intimate moments of my life.’

Denise Huskins1 

Matthew Muller. The voice has a face, it has a name. Now we finally meet, face to face, eye to eye. I am Denise Huskins, the woman behind the blindfold. The woman you drugged, tortured, raped and attempted to manipulate; the woman you repeatedly apologized to, repeatedly complimented for the strength in dealing with this life‐threatening situation that you helped inflict upon.
‘I am the woman behind the blindfold’: Denise Huskins’ wept as she read her statement to her abductor.
Remember the times you acknowledged and said to me that you could see that Aaron and I were good people, and we didn’t deserve this. Before you put me in the trunk of Aaron’s car, taking me captive, you told me that this wasn’t meant for me, and you named Aaron’s ex by her first and last name.
You promised not to “dehumanize” me any more than you had to, yet, for the next two days you treated me like an object, a toy, an animal to fulfill you and your associates’ selfish, evil needs.
I had also struggled in my young adulthood. You know that. I shared that with you. I told you about being molested as a child, how that impacted me and that it had been hard to heal, but therapy helped. I shared that most personal information with you after you claimed to be suffering from PTSD and insomnia. I was trying to connect with this voice who was hardly human, in hopes it would spare me from more torture, spare my body, spare my life.

Denise Huskins2

‘You treated me like an object, a toy and an animal’: Denise Huskins’ powerful victim statement to court

After sharing that, you still made the decision to rape me, and not just violating my body, but forcing me to perform, act, and have it recorded. I was heavily sedated for a 48‐hour period. You and your associates did an excellent job at making your threats clear. I saw flashes of lights and heard the electric shocks of tasers. I felt the sharp edge of a knife as it grazed my skin when you cut off the zip ties. I was outnumbered, you were armed, you were trained, I was helpless, defenseless. If I fought or not, the rapes would still happen. So, I lessened the blow and complied. And of course, it didn’t just happen once, but twice.
The second time you forced me to kiss you and say things to make it seem like we were a legitimate couple. You couldn’t just take my physical body and let me be detached from it, like I was in the first rape as you flopped me around the bed like a rag doll. This second time, you made me perform, “let’s pretend like we are with other people, the people we love, to get us through it”, as if this were happening to the both of us. I saw right through all of this, but knew I had to appease you. The only way I got through it was to picture that it was Aaron that I was with, and that will haunt me for the rest of my life. I know you did that on purpose, to leave your mark on me in the most special and intimate moments of my life.

 Mathew Muller9.png
Mathew Muller, an Ivy League educated attorney and ex-Marine, pled guilty last year to kidnapping Denise and holding her for ransom. He has been disbarred by the California bar

Police initially called the kidnapping a hoax and likened Denise’s (above) story to the movie ‘Gone Girl’, in which a woman goes missing and then lies about being kidnapped

You expressed your belief in how I was handling all of this. Why was I not acting hysterically, begging and pleading for you to spare my life, spare my body? I didn’t react that way because I knew that’s what you wanted, what you were looking for, what thrilled you, motivated you. You wanted to have that type of power over another being’s life. That’s why you had practiced and prepared, planned these types of scenarios for as far back as 2009, your conduct escalating until you finally succeeded in taking me.
If I were to die, if this was my last moment, hour, day on this Earth I would not live it screaming, panicking, crying in terror. I would go out proud and grateful for the life I lived, the family and friends I have, the grievances I have overcome, the amazing career that I loved, the patients and colleagues I had worked with, the loves I had experienced, especially in finding the love of my life, Aaron. I didn’t know what was to come, but I did know that I had all those people there with me, their love and energy, to give me strength to survive. I wouldn’t let myself see the terror, all I focused on was them. That is how I survived.
Within an hour of my release, the police questioning began and I very quickly learned that they did not believe me. I was a suspect accused of making this up and then publicly shamed after a press conference by an officer from the Vallejo Police Department who stated that I owed the public an apology. I had to retain a criminal defense attorney to fight for my innocence, I lost my job and I lost my health insurance at a time when I most needed care.
When speaking with law enforcement, there were two things the voice warned me that I could not discuss: That he was former military and that he had sex with me. If I were to disclose either of these pieces of information, he would come after my family, and I believed him.

Huskins and her parents1.pngJane Remmele and Mike Huskins [left and right in the photos with their daughter] wrote letters to U.S. District Judge Troy L. Nunley ahead of the sentencing on Thursday

When I was 12 years old, I was molested. It took over a decade for me to tell my mother. Years after that man molested me, he molested another little girl, and was caught. Had I told my mother at the time, the horror that little girl had gone through could have been prevented. I lived with shame and guilt because of that most of my life, and am still forgiving myself.
So, despite the threat to my family, I needed to tell the police about the rapes. A sexual assault exam is the most vulnerable thing a woman can do so soon after a being assaulted, but you go through it in hopes that the information they collect could help find the perpetrator and prevent other women from this horrific experience.
The nurses examined my body, noting and taking pictures of the bruising on the left side of my back where Muller had dropped me when trying to pull me out of the trunk. They surveyed my naked body with a black light, swabbed my bare chest, neck, stomach and groin where Muller put his lips and tongue on me. They examined me internally, noting and taking pictures of comparatively small lesions in my cervix. I wasn’t sure if this information would only be used against me and confirm to the police and FBI that I was lying. And here I was, the victim of a kidnaping and rapes, completely exposed with no loved ones nearby, wishing that I had put up more of a fight, was beaten more, was torn into more so the police would be more likely to believe me.

Every day I am grateful to be alive. Despite the many hopeless moments Aaron and I have overcome thus far, I still manage to hold out some hope for the future. Because of the aftermath of the kidnapping, and because of the kidnapping itself, it has been a long hard struggle to pick up the pieces of our lives. We fortunately have an amazing support system from both of our friends and families. We have moved cities, started new jobs.
I still have nightmares every night. For over a year if I came home alone, I would grab a knife and looking behind every door, in every corner. I have a hammer by my bed that I reach for in the worst of my nightmares. Sleep is not rest for me, it is a trigger.
There’s not a moment in the day that I don’t remember this. It’s not that I want to focus on it, but the depth of the terror is so deep, I have had to learn how to live side by side with it. I am humbled in that reality, this new reality. I am at that point in my life where Aaron and I talk about marriage and a family. But I am so scared of bringing a child into this world after the horror Muller has put me through, put my family through.
Above all, I am so grateful for Aaron, standing by my side and giving me strength and support as I continue to struggle. We both still have difficulties, but he had returned to work quickly, selflessly to support us and allow us to move forward with our lives. He knows exactly how to calm me, care for me, how to hold me in the midst of my nightmares. The thought of returning to his arms during those 48 hours helped get me through it, and I never want him to let me go. He gives me peace, love, laughter and hope in humanity.
I still can’t make sense of any of this, and I accept that I will never know. But what I do know, is that Matthew Muller willingly, thoughtfully, participated in this hell we have survived. He had every opportunity in that 48 hours to do something different, but chose not to. He said he was remorseful and would never do it again, yet two short months later, he still attacked another family.
I have no doubt that this man should not be free to walk amongst the rest of us. I don’t say that because I believe in revenge, in “eye for an eye,” but because of my experiences with him I know, without doubt or hesitation, that as long as he walks free, there will be more victims.

Her boyfriend, Aaron Quinn, who was bound and drugged during the kidnapping, said he ‘cannot and will not ever be the same’.
Initially, investigators thought her story was a hoax and likened the case to the film ‘Gone Girl’ in which a woman goes missing and then lies about being kidnapped when she reappears.
U.S. District Judge Troy Nunley called the abduction a ‘heinous, atrocious, horrible crime’ as he sentenced Muller, who faced up to life in prison. Prosecutors agreed to recommend 40 years in a plea deal.
In court, Muller said he was ‘sick with shame’ for the ‘pain and horror’ he caused.
Shackled and wearing an orange jail jumpsuit, he looked straight ahead and showed no emotion as he was sentenced.
‘He doesn’t have empathy. I don’t think he’s capable of it,’ Quinn’s mother, Marianne Quinn, said after the sentencing.

 Relief: Aaron Quinn's mother  was comforted by supporters outside court after the sentencing
Aaron’s  mother Marianne Quinn being  comforted outside court after the sentencing, Thursday
Muller, a disbarred Harvard University-trained attorney and ex-Marine, pleaded guilty last year to kidnapping Denise and holding her for ransom

She said a life sentence would have been better ‘because they never would have to worry about him ever again, but again, he’s going to be in jail for a long, long, long time’.
Defense attorney Thomas Johnson argued for a 30-year sentence, saying his client has been diagnosed as manic and depressive and can be rehabilitated with proper treatment.
‘They want him to be a monster to get to 40 years. Fine. Marginalize mental illness,’ Johnson told the judge sardonically.
He declined comment after the hearing.
Muller used a remote-controlled drone to spy on Huskins and Quinn before he broke into their Vallejo home with a fake gun, tied up the couple and made them drink a sleep-inducing liquid, prosecutors said.
They were blindfolded while Muller played a pre-recorded message that made it seem as if there was more than one kidnapper.
He put Huskins in the trunk of his car, drove her to his home in South Lake Tahoe and held her there for two days before eventually releasing her in her hometown of Huntington Beach.
Investigators said they found videos of Muller arranging cameras in a bedroom and then recording himself twice sexually assaulting his blindfolded victim.

Matthew Muller and Denise Huskins2Former attorney Matthew Muller [left], was charged with kidnapping Denise Huskins in 2015. Sexual assault charges may follow.
‘The only way I got through it was to picture that it was Aaron that I was with,’ Huskins said in court, sobbing uncontrollably until Quinn joined her and kissed her gently on the forehead.

Prosecutors cited the rapes as one of several aggravating factors justifying a 40-year sentence.
Despite the fact that Mathew Muller assaulted his victim, he was not charged with a sex crime because there is no appropriate federal law. Speaking for the  U.S. Attorney’s Office, Lauren Horwood, said the defendant could still face state charges for the rape.
El Dorado County Assistant District Attorney James Clinchard said his office now plans to contact the FBI and other law enforcement agencies to see if his office should file charges.
Court documents revealed that Muller, during and after the kidnapping, used an anonymous email address to send messages to a San Francisco reporter claiming that Huskins was abducted by a team of elite criminals who were practicing their tactics.
After her release, Vallejo police called the kidnapping a hoax and erroneously likened it to the book and movie ‘Gone Girl’.
Investigators dropped that theory after Muller was arrested in an attempted robbery at another Bay Area home. Authorities said they found a cellphone that they traced to Muller and a subsequent search of a car and home turned up evidence, including a computer Muller stole from Quinn, linking the disbarred attorney to the abduction.

Vallejo police have since apologized. Huskins is suing the city and two police officers, accusing them of defamation and inflicting emotional distress.|
Quinn described yesterday how the home he once loved ‘turned into a prison’ and how his young nieces still check under their beds each night.
‘They’re not checking for a bogeyman,’ he told Muller directly. ‘They’re checking for you.’
Muller, a former Marine, was admitted to practice law in California in 2011, and his state bar profile says he attended Harvard Law School. He lost his law license in 2015 in an unrelated incident.
‘Muller had advantages in life that most people only dream of,’ U.S. Attorney Phillip Talbert said in a statement, ‘yet he used his considerable intelligence to plan and execute the physical assault and psychological torture of two innocent strangers.’
Earlier this week Denise Huskins’ parents told the judge they were outraged Muller will not be sentenced for rape and drugging her.

 Aaron Quinn's mother Marianne addressing the press outside court .pngAaron Quinn’s mother Marianne addressing the media outside court after the sentencing, Thursday

The victim’s parents Jane Remmele and Mike Huskins wrote letters to U.S. District Judge Troy L. Nunley ahead of yesterday’s sentencing, calling for the harshest sentence possible: ‘A person who kidnapped my daughter is to be sent to prison for just that – kidnapping. My daughter was also drugged, restrained, abused and sexually assaulted. Aaron was drugged and restrained,’ Remmele wrote in the letters included in the federal court file.
‘Should no sentence be imposed for these crimes justice will not have been served. If effect, a free pass will have been given to the felon for these other acts.
‘I have no idea how this is possible and it sickens me as much as anything that has happened in the past two years.’
long time.’

The victim's mother Jane Remmele wrote a letter to U.S. District Judge Troy L. Nunley ahead of the sentencing on Thursday calling for the harshest sentence possible to be imposed2

Letter from Huskins’ mom, Jane Remmele to letter to  Judge Troy L. Nunley ahead of sentencing requesting the harshest sentence possible to be imposed on Muller

‘Public safety requires that he be imprisoned until he is old and weak,’ Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Dean Segal said as he called the crime ‘depraved and egregious.’

Investigators dropped the hoax theory after Muller was later arrested in an attempted robbery at another San Francisco Bay Area home.
Muller, a former Marine, was admitted to practice law in California in 2011, and his state bar profile says he attended Harvard Law School. He lost his law license in 2015 in an unrelated incident.

 

 

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