United States District Court, D. Minnesota
N. ERICKSEN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Idris Ibrahim Fahra alleges violations of his constitutional
rights in an investigation that led to his indictment by a
federal grand jury and his subsequent arrest, a trial on some
of the counts in which he was charged, his conviction on two
counts, and the setting aside of the conviction on those
counts. He sues Defendants Heather Weyker, a police officer
for the St. Paul Police Department in Minnesota; John
Bandemer, a St. Paul Police Department sergeant who is
alleged to have been Weyker's supervisor; John Does 3-4,
who are allegedly supervisory St. Paul police officers; and
the City of St. Paul (“St. Paul”). Weyker and
Bandemer move to dismiss Fahra's complaint pursuant to
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) for failure to state
a claim and on absolute and qualified immunity grounds. Dkt.
No. 41. St. Paul moves on behalf of the City of St. Paul and
John Does 3-4 for judgment on the pleadings pursuant to Rule
12(c). Dkt. No. 47.
investigation at the core of Fahra's civil complaint
targeted a suspected venture involving the sex-trafficking of
minor girls across Minnesota, Tennessee, and Ohio. The
investigation resulted in the criminal indictment of thirty
people, mostly Somali, in the Middle District of Tennessee in
2010-2011 (“Tennessee Case”). Fahra alleges that
Weyker and Bandemer fabricated evidence about him and others
throughout the investigation, resulting in a tainted
indictment that was further corrupted by Weyker's
continuing deception, and causing his arrest and detention
without probable cause.
of Fahra's co-defendants in the Tennessee Case bring
separate suits similarly alleging constitutional violations,
and a twenty-first person brings another related civil suit.
The parties agreed to coordinated briefing on the
Defendants' motions. The Court assumes familiarity with
its fuller opinion in one of the related cases, Osman v.
Weyker, et al., No. 16cv908 (“Osman
Opinion”) (filed simultaneously herewith), and will not
repeat that opinion's discussion verbatim here, given the
overlap in allegations and arguments. Fahra, coordinating
with the other plaintiffs represented by his counsel, opposed
the motions. See GBBS Pls.' Opp. to St. Paul
Mot., Dkt. No. 52; GBBS Pls.' Opp. to DOJ Mot. to
Dismiss, Dkt. No. 55.
Court held a hearing on Defendants' motions on May 3,
2017, and now grants in part and denies in part Weyker and
Bandemer's motion and grants St. Paul's
motion to dismiss or a motion for judgment on the pleadings
is appropriately granted “only when there is no dispute
as to any material facts and the moving party is entitled to
judgment as a [m]atter of law.” Greenman v.
Jessen, 787 F.3d 882, 887 (8th Cir. 2015) (citation
omitted). To survive a Rule 12 motion, “a complaint
must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to
‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on its
face.'” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662,
678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550
U.S. 544, 570 (2007)); Haney v. Portfolio Recovery
Assocs., LLC, 837 F.3d 918, 924 (8th Cir. 2016), as
amended (Dec. 27, 2016). See also Osman Op.
the allegations are similar to those alleged by Osman and
summarized and analyzed in the Court's order in that
case. See, e.g., Osman Op. 4-8. The Court briefly
recounts some allegations in Fahra's Second Amended
Complaint and some facts gleaned from the Tennessee Case
November 3, 2010, Fahra was indicted in a First Superseding
Indictment (“FSI”) in the Tennessee Case. SAC
¶ 16. He was charged in four counts. See FSI,
United States v. Fahra, No. 3:10cr260, Dkt. No. 36
(M.D. Tenn. Nov. 3, 2010); see also SAC ¶ 16.
Two counts alleged participation in a sex-trafficking
conspiracy in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1591(a) (Counts 1
and 2). Two counts alleged recruitment or attempted
recruitment of a minor under the age of 14 (Jane Doe Two) for
sex trafficking (Counts 12 and 13). A Second Superseding
Indictment was later filed that included the same charges
against Fahra. See SAC ¶ 17; United States
v. Fahra, No. 3:10cr260, Dkt. No. 591 (M.D. Tenn. May 4,
was arrested on November 8, 2010. SAC ¶ 11.
counts as against Fahra, which all related to the alleged sex
trafficking conspiracy, exclusively involved the supposed
witness-victim Jane Doe Two. SAC ¶¶ 18, 20.
“Jane Doe Two was the centerpiece of Weyker's and
Bandemer's fabricated case against Fahra . . . .”
SAC ¶ 21. Weyker was the lead investigator on the case,
and Bandemer was her supervisor in the St. Paul Police
Department. SAC ¶ 15. The indictment alleged, in the
only paragraph to include specific allegations about Fahra,
that in December 2006, on several occasions, Fahra and others
charged men to have sex with Jane Doe Two in Fahra's
apartment in St. Paul, Minnesota. See SAC ¶ 20;
FSI ¶ 13. “There was never any such conspiracy and
Fahra never engaged in any attempt to have Jane Doe Two
engage in commercial sex.” SAC ¶ 22.
“Fabricated evidence formed the basis of this false
allegation against Fahra.” Id.; see
also SAC ¶ 25.
by forming “a deep and manipulative relationship with
Jane Doe Two and the other Jane Doe witnesses who[m] she
referred to as ‘My girls' in a news interview about
the vice unit's biggest indictment, ” manipulated
and coerced Jane Doe Two and other witnesses into giving
false testimony. See SAC ¶¶ 26, 29, 42. In
a Sixth Circuit opinion, the court made several remarks about
interactions between Weyker and Jane Doe Two, including that
“meetings [between them] also produced a story in which
Jane Doe 2 was not a troubled runaway or juvenile delinquent,
but was instead an innocent child taken in by a Somali gang
who used her for sex” and that “Jane Doe 2
furthered the district court's suspicion when she
testified on cross examination that Weyker had misstated
facts in the reports, adding to and omitting things from her
statements.” SAC ¶ 33 (quoting United States
v. Fahra, 643 Fed.Appx. 480, 482 (6th Cir. Mar. 2,
March 2012, a criminal trial began in which Fahra was tried
on the four sex-trafficking-related counts in which he was
charged. SAC ¶¶ 36-37. At the trial, Weyker
“was not even called as a witness” because her
“credibility was so eviscerated” by that point.
SAC ¶ 35. After the jury selection process began, the
government belatedly produced thousands of pages of
documents, causing the Court to delay the start of trial to
April. See SAC ¶ 41; United States
v. Adan, 913 F.Supp.2d 555, 559-60 (M.D. Tenn. 2012).
Among the belatedly produced documents were some of
Weyker's rough notes, “with one page containing
references about Jane Doe Two's statements about finding
guys ‘to have sex for money.'” SAC ¶ 41
(quoting Adan, 913 F.3d 2d at 588-89). “Weyker
kept thousands of pages of rough notes. But only one page
contained any reference to commercial sex.” SAC ¶
jury acquitted Fahra on Counts 2 and 13, but found him guilty
on Counts 1 and 12. SAC ¶ 37; Adan, 913
F.Supp.2d at 560. Fahra “would never have been indicted
for sex-trafficking, ” nor detained, nor convicted on
Counts 1 and 12, “had Weyker and Bandemer not
fabricated evidence, cultivated and manipulated Jane Doe Two,
manufactured testimony and misled federal authorities.”
SAC ¶¶ 38-40.
December 19, 2012, “the district court granted
Fahra's motion for judgment of acquittal on his
sex-trafficking conviction and conditionally granted a new
trial on Jane Doe Two's age issue and the
Government's violation of ...