United States District Court, D. Minnesota
N. ERICKSEN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Bashir Yasin Mohamud alleges violations of his constitutional
rights in an investigation that led to his indictment by a
federal grand jury and his 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 Mohamud'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. 38. 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 Mohamud'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”). Mohamud 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 Mohamud'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. Mohamud,
coordinating with the other plaintiffs represented by his
counsel, opposed the Defendants' motions. See
GBBS Pls.' Opp. to St. Paul Mot., Dkt. No. 49; GBBS
Pls.' Opp. to DOJ Mot. to Dismiss (“GBBS DOJ
Opp.”), Dkt. No. 52.
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) (citation omitted); Haney v. Portfolio
Recovery Assocs., LLC, 837 F.3d 918, 924 (8th Cir.
2016), as amended (Dec. 27, 2016). See also
Osman Op. 3-4.
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 Mohamud's Amended Complaint
and some facts gleaned from the Tennessee Case
November 3, 2010, Mohamud was charged in a First Superseding
Indictment (“FSI”) in the Tennessee Case. AC
¶ 17. He was charged in only two counts. Counts 1 and 2
charged him with conspiracy to violate 18 U.S.C. §
1591(a), which criminalizes the sex trafficking of minors,
sex trafficking by force, fraud, or coercion, and knowingly
benefiting from participating in such a sex-trafficking
venture. AC ¶ 17. A Second Superseding Indictment was
later filed that included the same charges against Mohamud.
AC ¶ 18; United States v. Mohamud, No.
3:10cr260, Dkt. No. 591 (M.D. Tenn. May 4, 2011).
was arrested on November 8, 2010. AC ¶ 13. On December
2, 2010, he waived his right to a detention hearing,
reserving “his right to seek release at some point in
the future if appropriate, ” and he was ordered to be
detained in custody. United States v. Mohamud, No.
3:10cr260, Dkt. No. 1006, at 2 (M.D. Tenn. Dec. 15, 2011)
(submitted in this civil case as DOJ Br. Ex. D, Dkt. No.
counts as against Mohamud exclusively involved the supposed
witness-victim Jane Doe Four. AC ¶ 20. The indictment
alleged that on March 11, 2010, Mohamud and others
transported Jane Doe Four to a hotel in Richfield, Minnesota,
where Mohamud rented a room. AC ¶ 21. It alleged that
“[i]n this room, ” Mohamud “and other males
through force and fraud, had non-consensual sex with Jane Doe
Four, ” who was then 18 years old. FSI ¶¶
59-60; AC ¶ 21. “There was never any such
[sex-trafficking] conspiracy[, ] and Mohamud never engaged in
any attempt to have Jane Doe Four or any others engage in
commercial sex. . . . Fabricated evidence formed the basis of
this false allegation against Mohamud.” AC ¶ 22.
“Further, no such non-consensual sex occurred between
Mohamud and Jane Doe Four.” AC ¶ 23. Mohamud did
rent a room in a hotel in Richfield on March 10-11, 2010, and
he was there with Jane Doe Four on those dates. AC
¶¶ 24-25. Jane Doe Four “was a willing
participant in a party that occurred in that room, ”
and she engaged in consensual sexual activities with Mohamud
at the party. AC ¶¶ 25-26. The Richfield Police
Department interviewed Mohamud about the party only after the
Tennessee Case prosecutor contacted them and informed them
that “this alleged incident involving Jane Doe Four was
likely related to [the prosecutor's] investigation
involving human sex trafficking in Nashville, Tennessee-the
same ‘ring' being investigated by Weyker and
Bandemer.” AC ¶¶ 27-28. Weyker was the lead
investigator on the case, and Bandemer was her supervisor in
the St. Paul Police Department. AC ¶ 16. “Mohamud
was never charged by the Richfield Police Department with any
crime relating to the events of March 10-11, 2010.” AC
grand jury testimony in the Tennessee Case, Jane Doe Four
gave conflicting accounts of what happened at the Richfield
party. AC ¶¶ 30-31. During October 2010 grand jury
testimony, Jane Doe Four “stated she was not going to
the Motel 6 to exchange sex for money and that ‘[she]
never sell [her] body . . . No, I've never done that . .
. .'” AC ¶ 31 (quoting United States v.
Mohamud, No. 3:10cr260, Dkt. No. 2560, at 3-4 (M.D.
Tenn. June 8, 2012)) (incorrectly cited as Dkt. No. 2650)
(submitted as DOJ Br. Ex. I, Dkt. No. 41-1).
district court held a detention hearing on in November 2011,
after Mohamud filed a motion to reconsider detention.
See DOJ Br. Ex. D at 2. At this hearing, “the
proof was that Jane Doe 4 was discovered in the motel bed
nude and after wakening, she began crying and screaming. . .
. Weyker testified that at the motel, Jane Doe 4 did not
consent fo[r] anyone to have sex with her.” AC ¶
32 (quoting DOJ Br. Ex. I at 5). “Weyker additionally
testified at the [November 2011] detention hearing that the
markings on Jane Doe Four's vaginal area were the result
of ‘blunt force trauma.' . . . As [the Tennessee
Case district court judge] noted: ‘that phrase is not
in the nurse's report.'” AC ¶ 33 (quoting
DOJ Br. Ex. I at 5). “Weyker's fabricated evidence
regarding Jane Doe Four led to Mohamud's continued
detention.” AC ¶ 34.
March 2012, a number of Mohamud's co-defendants went to
trial. AC ¶ 53. Mohamud had moved to sever his case from
their trial, and the district court granted the motion.
United States v. Mohamud, 3:10cr260, Dkt. Nos. 1051,
1395 (M.D. Tenn. Jan. 11, 2012 & Feb. 16, 2012)
(Mohamud's second motion to sever, and the district court
order severing the charges against him); see also AC
¶ 53 (“Mohamud's trial was to begin after
theirs.”). In that trial, six of nine defendants were
fully acquitted by the jury, but the jury convicted the other
three defendants on some charges. See AC ¶ 55.
The district court then granted those three defendants'
Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 29 motions for judgments
of acquittal, on the basis of a variance. See AC
¶ 55; United States v. Adan, 913 F.Supp.2d 555,
579 (M.D. Tenn. Dec. 19, 2012).
that trial, Mohamud filed a sealed renewed motion for release
based on changed circumstances. United States v.
Mohamud, No. 3:10cr260, Dkt. No. 2435 (M.D. Tenn. Apr.
26, 2012). On June 8, 2012, the district court granted his
motion, concluding that “[w]ithout evidence that
[Mohamud] sexually trafficked a person in violation of
federal law, the Court cannot find clear and convincing
evidence for this Court's Order for the continued
detention of this Defendant.” AC ¶ 35 (quoting DOJ
Br. Ex. I at 7). He was released on pretrial conditions on
June 15, 2012. AC ¶ 47.
government had appealed the district court's grant of the
Rule 29 motions after the April 2012 trial, and in March
2016, the appellate court affirmed the district court. AC
¶ 56 (citing United States v. Fahra, 643
Fed.Appx. 480 (6th Cir. 2012)). “In its opinion, before
it recounted the trial testimony and evidence, the [appellate
court] noted ‘. . . that we start our analysis from
what is likely a fictitious story.'” AC ¶ 56
(quoting Fahra, 643 Fed.Appx. at 484).
the appellate court's opinion issued, the government
moved to dismiss all remaining charges against all remaining
defendants, and the court granted the motion on March 10,
2016. AC ¶ 57. Mohamud was then “finally released
from electronic ...