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Criminal Justice

#TheyLied Lawsuit Over Allegedly False Stalking/Assault/Etc. Report to Police Can Go Forward


From Khoraki v. Longoria, decided Friday by Judge Robert Payne (E.D. Va.):

The matter arises from an alleged unlawful arrest and criminal prosecution of Dr. Jad Khoraki, a 30-year-old physician, by Defendants Derrick Longoria, a police officer employed by the City of Richmond Police Department, and Jaime Blackmon, a Deputy Commonwealth's Attorney for the City of Richmond. Khoraki was arrested on January 26, 2020 and February 6, 2020 for charges based on allegedly false reports made by [Josephine] Wallace….

The Amended Complaint recites that, after meeting on a dating application ("app"), Khoraki and Wallace engaged in a brief relationship beginning in March 2019 and ending in December 2019. Shortly thereafter, Wallace made a series of reports to the Richmond Police Department, alleging various instances of stalking and assault by Khoraki. On January 21, 2020, Wallace told Longoria that she had been assaulted by Khoraki on January 20, 2020. Then, Wallace informed Longoria that Khoraki had stalked her between January 23 and 25, 2020. Based solely on Wallace's statements, arrest warrants were issued by a magistrate. Khoraki was arrested on January 26, 2020. Khoraki was released on bond following the January 26th arrest.

Thereafter, on January 29, 2020, Wallace met with Longoria claiming additional, more serious allegations. In particular, Wallace accused Khoraki of assaulting, strangling, and threatening her with a firearm on September 15, 2019. Relying solely on Wallace's allegations, on January 31, 2020, Longoria obtained warrants. Wallace also petitioned the Richmond General District Court for a protective order against Khoraki.

Based on these new allegations, Khoraki was arrested again on February 6, 2020 and held without bond in the Richmond City Justice Center. Thereafter, Khoraki's counsel learned from Chesterfield County Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Erin Barr and Chesterfield Police Detective Christopher King that Wallace had a history of making false allegations against men, including accusations against another man resulting in a false rape charge that was dismissed and expunged. {In general, Wallace states that she lacks sufficient information to admit or deny any of these allegations. However, Wallace denies that she made any fabricated reports related to Khoraki.}

On February 12, 2020, Khoraki's defense counsel advised Blackmon and Longoria of Wallace's history of making false reports against men whom she had met on a dating app. Counsel also offered evidence that the current allegations against Khoraki were fictitious. Khoraki's counsel also provided contact information for Barr and King so that Blackmon and Longoria could confirm what counsel had been told.

On February 13, 2020, Khoraki's counsel provided a report by King that detailed Wallace's history of making false allegations dating back to 2018. Notably, King's report highlighted that Wallace previously had made identical allegations against a man she met on a dating app who assaulted her, stalked her, held a gun to her head, and threatened her. {The report also indicated that Chesterfield Detectives had proof that Wallace had inflicted visible injury upon herself.} Of course, those allegations closely tracked what Wallace had said about Khoraki.

On February 14, 2020, Khoraki's counsel presented the report about Wallace at the bond appeal hearing. At some point before that hearing, Longoria and Blackmon both reviewed the Chesterfield report containing the previous false allegations made by Wallace. Longoria agreed that the charges against Khoraki should be "nolle pros" and that he should be released. Remarkably, Blackmon opposed bond because the "allegations [were] very violent" even though she was familiar with King's report. After the bond appeal hearing, Khoraki was granted a $10,000 secured bond and ordered to be released on an electronic monitor.

On February 27, 2020, the court dismissed by nolle prosequi the charges against Khoraki. The remaining charges and the preliminary protective order were dismissed on March 10, 2020.

Here's what the court said about Khoraki's intentional infliction of emotional distress claim against Wallace:

Khoraki specifically pleads that "Ms. Wallace, with the specific purpose of inflicting emotional distress upon Dr. Khoraki, fabricated false allegations to cause his arrest, detention, and prosecution." … Khoraki [also] pleads that "Ms. Wallace's conduct was so outrageous and intolerable that it offended the generally accepted standards of decency and morality." "Liability has been found only where the conduct has been so outrageous in character, and so extreme in degree, as to go beyond all possible bounds of decency, and to be regarded as atrocious, and utterly intolerable in a civilized community." … Filing false police reports has been deemed outrageous and intolerable under Virginia law; in fact, Virginia has criminalized the conduct ….

What is more, the Amended Complaint alleges that Wallace had made substantially similar, and baseless, charges against another man. Also, it is alleged that she has a history of making baseless allegations. Therefore, Wallace's conduct falls evenly within Virginia's definition of outrageous conduct….

Thanks to (Alison Dunn) for the pointer.