United States District Court, D. Minnesota
N. ERICKSEN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Abdullahi Sade Afyare alleges violations of his
constitutional rights in an investigation that led to his
indictment by a federal grand jury and subsequent arrest. 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 Afyare'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. 35. 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. 44.
investigation at the core of Afyare'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”). Afyare 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 Afyare'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. Afyare, coordinating
with the other plaintiffs represented by the same counsel,
opposed the motions. See GBBS Pls.' Opp. to St.
Paul Mot., Dkt. No. 49; GBBS Pls.' Opp. to DOJ Mot. to
Dismiss, Dkt. No. 52.
Court held a hearing on Defendants' motions on May 3,
2017, and now grants both motions.
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 Afyare's Amended Complaint
and some facts gleaned from the Tennessee Case
April 2009, Afyare went to a party with some individuals who
in time became his co-defendants in the Tennessee Case. AC
¶ 17. He met Jane Doe Two there for the first time.
Id. A few days later, he and his friends, as well as
Jane Doe Two, took a road trip to Nashville, Tennessee. AC
¶ 18. Soon after they arrived in Nashville, they were
arrested, and he was charged with contributing to the
delinquency of a minor (Jane Doe Two). AC ¶¶ 20-23.
November 8, 2010, Afyare was arrested on a First Superseding
Indictment (“FSI”), dated November 3, 2010.
See AC ¶¶ 28, 34. He was taken to an
immigration detention center, where Weyker began to question
him “and threatened that if he did not admit to her
trumped up tale of sex trafficking and implicate others, he
would go to prison for a long time.” AC ¶¶
28-29. Afyare “refused to falsely admit to things he
did not do nor falsely implicate others.” Id.
That same day, he was brought before a magistrate judge for a
detention hearing. AC ¶ 30. The judge ordered him
released on conditions, but the government appealed, and the
district court in Tennessee stayed the release order pending
the appeal, so Afyare remained in custody. AC ¶ 30.
Eventually the appeal was decided, and he was released on
conditions. AC ¶ 52.
indictment charged Afyare in seven counts. See FSI,
United States v. Afyare, No. 3:10cr260, Dkt. No. 36
(M.D. Tenn. Nov. 3, 2010). Two counts alleged participation
in a sex-trafficking conspiracy in violation of 18 U.S.C.
§ 1591(a) (Counts 1 and 2). Two counts, Counts 3 and 4,
alleged obstruction of justice. Counts 12 and 13 alleged,
from December 2006 through April 2009, recruitment and
attempted recruitment of a minor (Jane Doe Two) to engage in
sex trafficking. Finally, Count 18 alleged that from 2007
through September 2010, Afyare conspired to commit credit
card fraud. E.g., FSI ¶¶ 117, 119, 128,
early 2012, as the parties in the Tennessee Case prepared for
trial to begin in March, the district court granted a motion
to sever some of the counts, including Counts 15 and 18, for
later trial. United States v. Afyare, No. 3:10cr260,
Dkt. No. 1395 (M.D. Tenn. Feb. 16, 2012). In addition, Afyare
and some other defendants elected to be severed from the
defendants who were preparing for trial on
sex-trafficking-related charges. United States v.
Adan, 913 F.Supp.2d 555, 559 (M.D. Tenn. 2012).
criminal trial that took place in Spring 2012, the jury
acquitted six defendants fully, and acquitted three
defendants on some counts but convicted them on other counts.
See AC ¶ 56. The district court then granted
Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 29 motions for judgments
of acquittal by the three convicted defendants, on the basis
of a variance. See AC ¶ 56; Adan, 913
F.Supp.2d at 579.
that trial, in August 2012, a Third Superseding Indictment
was filed. It charged Afyare with the same crimes, including
credit-card fraud conspiracy, and added some charges. See
United States v. Afyare, No. 3:10cr260, Dkt. No. 2701
(M.D. Tenn. Aug. 22, 2012).
was released from pretrial detention after the Sixth Circuit
on March 2, 2016, decided the appeal of the district
court's order granting the Rule 29 motions, and after the
government subsequently moved to dismiss all charges against
all remaining defendants. See AC ¶¶ ...