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Vallejo, in Northern California, now have to pay a couple $2.5 million after initially dismissing Denise Huskins’ claim of being kidnapped and raped by a man in 2015.

Of course, that all changed when Matthew Muller, a disbarred attorney, was connected to the crime, plead guilty, and is serving a 40-year prison term.

“The conduct plaintiffs allege goes beyond defendants being skeptical, investigating alternate theories, and expressing skepticism,” U.S. District Judge Troy Nunley wrote in his 22-page decision, adding that, “A reasonable jury could find that defendants engaged in conduct that was extreme and outrageous.”

The kicker, Muller even sent messages to a San Francisco reporter (during and after) claiming that Ms Huskins had been abducted by an elite team of criminals — she was eventually released from her captivity on Hunting Beach, and as we said before… police initially thought the whole thing was a hoax.

In the emails, the sender said Huskins was not their real target and that she had been taken by mistake.

They described themselves as part of a group of ‘gentlemen’s thieves’ like Ocean’s Eleven.

It was not until June 8 that Muller was arrested.

Despite his arrest, police did not offer a public apology and instead issued one privately to the couple.

They, however, stood by their decision to label the ordeal a hoax and said the evidence suggested as much.

Among their nuggets of proof was that Denise ‘didn’t act like a kidnapping victim’ when she reappeared at her parents’ home days after she was taken.

As reported by Mercury News:

On March 23, 2015, Huskins and Quinn were awakened and drugged by an intruder in their Mare Island home. Huskins was then kidnapped, sexually assaulted and imprisoned for two days before being released near her father’s home in Southern California.

Vallejo police quickly declared the case a hoax. Some in the media began calling Huskins the “Gone Girl,” a reference to the book and movie about a woman who fakes her own abduction.

For months, Huskins and Quinn were widely considered criminals. But the case took a strange turn several months later, when police arrested Matthew Muller, 39, a Harvard-educated attorney. He pleaded guilty to the kidnapping and is now serving a 40-year prison sentence.