LOS ANGELES (CN) - Los Angeles County Sheriff's investigators framed a man on false charges of date-raping a babysitter, though they knew he was innocent, the man claims in court.
Single dad Kevin Eugene Cady sued Los Angeles County, its Sheriff's Department and sheriff's investigator Debra Marquez, in Federal Court.
Cady, of Norwalk, claims he was wrongfully arrested, booked and forced to post $100,000 bail after Dana Leamaster, his "intoxicated" 23-year old babysitter, accused him of drugging her with Midazolam and sexually assaulting her on the evening of Jan. 10, 2012 at his home.
Leamaster is not a party to the complaint.
Cady, then 53, found Leamaster through an online baby-sitting service, and was accused of spiking a drink he gave her after returning early from work, the Sheriff's Department told the Los Angeles Times for a March 8, 2012 story.
During interviews with investigators, however, Leamaster quickly acknowledged "exculpatory evidence" establishing his innocence, Cady says in his complaint.
Nonetheless, Marquez and Doe defendants 1-20 "forged and fabricated a false and deceptive letter on California Department of Justice Stationery," ostensibly signed by an official, falsely stating that Cady's "DNA was found on Ms. Leamaster's buttocks and vaginal area," according to the 15-page complaint.
Cady claims that Marquez used the same letter to try to hoodwink him into confessing to a crime he did not commit.
Cady says in the complaint that he "made no admissions of having engaged in any such direct touching of any portions of Ms. Leamaster's body from which these specimens were falsely alleged to have been collected."
He claims that "subsequent DNA testing of the specimens furnished by Ms. Leamaster and by plaintiff failed to yield any scientifically valid or reliable physical evidence of any physical contact by any part of plaintiff's body with any part of Ms. Leamaster's body, of which defendants Marquez and Does 1 through 20 inclusive were at all times aware. Plaintiff is further informed and believes. and thereupon alleges, that based upon well known metabolization rates of Midazolam when screened by urine testing, no scientifically or medically competent evidence existed that plaintiff could have orally administered Midazolam to Ms. Leamaster which could have caused or contributed to her intoxication on the evening of Jan. 10. 2012."
Cady claims that further testing failed to reveal the use of any other date rape drugs, and that sheriff's investigators knew by Jan. 19, 2012 that there was no evidence linking him to any crime.
Investigators also knew that Leamaster had retracted her statement that she had not had sex for more than two years, and had in fact had sex days before she made the allegations, according to the complaint.
"(P)reviously undisclosed consensual sexual conduct by Ms. Leamaster accounted for the alleged inflammation and injury to her anal area, which she initially attributed to plaintiff's conduct on Jan. 10, 2012," the complaint states.
Marquez and other investigators "nonetheless knowingly and intentionally commenced a course of conduct designed and intended to manufacture and fabricate false and misleading statements and documentary evidence against plaintiff," Cady claims.
This included: "destroying and hiding exculpatory evidence, and encouraging and suborning other witnesses' giving of false testimony against plaintiff, refusing to disclose and willfully concealing from plaintiff" and "sequestering critical exculpatory percipient witnesses and preventing their testimony by incarcerating them with unjustified no bail holds," the complaint states.
Cady claims the investigators also violated Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department "policies and procedures concerning the proper recording and retention of prosecuting witness statements, encouraging laboratory technicians to falsify their DNA and other toxicological testing, all with the plain intent and design to obtain a wrongful and unjustified guilty verdict and/or guilty plea against plaintiff in the underlying criminal proceedings."
More than a month into the investigation, Cady claims, Marquez and investigators obtained a "fraudulent" search warrant for his hard drive and cell phone records. He claims they were attempting to uncover evidence that he had purchased Midazolam as a "sleep aid."
Cady says the warrant was used to "present false evidence to the court ... that plaintiff drugged Ms. Leamaster as part of an intended date rape scheme which never existed and never occurred, as defendants were all well aware at the time ...
"(A)fter repeated refusals to produce critical discovery, including access to a mere copy of plaintiff's hard drives, which plaintiff required to put forth a defense to which plaintiff was constitutionally entitled, and after repeatedly seeking continuances due to an alleged lack of preparedness for trial, the Los Angeles County Superior Court finally dismissed all criminal charges against plaintiff on motion of defense counsel," the complaint states.
Cady seeks $5 million in damages and costs.
He is represented by Daniel Prepas of Irvine.
Sheriff's Department spokesman Steve Whitmore told Courthouse News that he was not aware of the claims but said in an interview: "Lawsuits only tell part of the story. We look forward to telling the whole story."