United States District Court, D. Minnesota
N. ERICKSEN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Mohamed Amalle 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, and
his acquittal on all counts in which he was charged. 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 Amalle'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. 36. 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. 45.
investigation at the core of Amalle'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”). Amalle 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 Amalle'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. Amalle, coordinating
with the other plaintiffs represented by his counsel, opposed
the motions. See GBBS Pls.' Opp. to St. Paul
Mot., Dkt. No. 50; GBBS Pls.' Opp. to DOJ Mot. to
Dismiss, Dkt. No. 53.
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 Amalle's Amended Complaint
and some facts gleaned from the Tennessee Case
4, 2011, Amalle was indicted in a Second Superseding
Indictment (“SSI”) in the Tennessee Case. AC
¶ 16. He had not been indicted in the original or first
superseding indictment, but was added as the thirtieth
defendant in the Second Superseding Indictment, which charged
him in four counts. See AC ¶ 23; SSI,
United States v. Amalle, No. 3:10cr260, Dkt. No. 591
(M.D. Tenn. May 4, 2011). Two counts alleged participation in
a sex-trafficking conspiracy in violation of 18 U.S.C. §
1591(a) (Counts 1 and 2). The other 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).
was arrested pursuant to the Second Superseding Indictment on
May 10, 2011. AC ¶ 18. After a detention hearing on May
12, 2011, a magistrate judge ordered Amalle's detention
in custody. AC ¶ 19.
counts as against Amalle only referenced one supposed
witness-victim, Jane Doe Two. AC ¶ 24. Indeed, the
indictment “hardly mentioned [Amalle] at all.” AC
¶ 25. He was alleged to have been an
“associate” of two Somali gangs based in
Minnesota. SSI ¶ 1(f). In addition, he was charged with
being “[p]resent” when, on November 26, 2006,
Jane Doe Two “was enticed into engaging in a sex act
with a person known as ‘BG, ' whose identity is
unknown.” SSI ¶ 12. Jane Doe Two was alleged to
have been under thirteen years old at that time. SSI ¶
11. Lastly, Amalle and two others were charged with
transporting Jane Doe Two “on multiple occasions”
between January 2007 through May 5, 2007, often in a green
minivan, to an apartment complex in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
FSI ¶ 15. The indictment alleged that while driving to
the apartments, “one or more of the aforementioned
males would make cellular phone calls asking persons if they
wanted to engage in sex with Jane Doe Two, ” and that
they charged people money to have sex with her. Id.
of these charges were predicated on two facts that Weyker and
Bandemer knew they could not prove: that Jane Doe Two was a
minor and that Amalle was part of an imaginary
sex-trafficking ring.” AC ¶ 25. Amalle also
“never conspired, engaged, or attempted to engage to
have Jane Doe Two perform commercial sex. Fabricated evidence
formed the basis for these false allegations against
Amalle.” AC ¶ 28. Weyker, by forming “a deep
and manipulative relationship with Jane Doe Two and the other
Jane Doe witnesses-whom 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 AC ¶¶ 29, 33, 35. In a Sixth Circuit
opinion, the court made several remarks about interactions
between Jane Doe Two, including that “meetings [between
Weyker and Jane Doe Two at her school] . . . 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 herself 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.” AC ¶ 36 (quoting United
States v. Fahra, 643 Fed.Appx. 480, 482 (6th Cir. Mar.
March 2012, a criminal trial began in which Amalle was tried
on the only four charges against him. See AC ¶
40. At the trial, Weyker “was not even called as a
witness” because her “credibility was so
eviscerated” by that point. AC ¶ 41.
jury acquitted Amalle of all charges. AC ¶ 42;
United States v. Adan, 913 F.Supp. 2d. 555, 560
(M.D. Tenn. 2012). “The majority of his co-defendants
were also acquitted of all charges, but a few were found
guilty on some counts.” AC ¶ 42; see also
Adan, 913 F.Supp.2d at 560. “The trial judge,
however, granted a judgment of acquittal for those
defendants, ” pursuant to Federal Rule of Criminal
Procedure 29, on the basis of a variance between the
sex-trafficking conspiracy charged in Counts 1 and 2 and the
multiple conspiracies proved at trial. See AC ¶
42; see Adan, 913 F.Supp.2d at 579. In March ...