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Disbarred Lawyer Gets 40 Years in Prison for Kidnapping and Sexual Assault

A California woman, Denise Huskins, described the “hell that we have survived” to her abductor, who was sentenced to 40 years in prison. The police originally dismissed this case as a hoax because it was so elaborate and downright bizarre.

Huskins was held for two days, after being kidnapped and sexually assaulted by the abductor, which she describes as physical and psychological torture. The disbarred lawyer, Matthew Muller, reportedly snatched her from her home in San Francisco two years ago.

“I still have nightmares every night,” she said, fighting back tears. “Sleep is not rest for me; it is a trigger.” Her boyfriend was bound and drugged during the kidnapping. He said “he can not and will not ever be the same.” U.S. District Judge Troy Nunley called the abduction a “heinous, atrocious, horrible crime” as he sentenced 39 year-old Muller. Muller faced up to life in prison, but prosecutors agreed to 40 years in exchange for his guilty plea. Muller’s lawyer wanted a 30 year sentence arguing that Muller had manic depression and could be rehabilitated with proper treatment.

Muller used a drone to spy on the couple at their Vallejo home before breaking in, wielding a fake gun, tying up the couple, and making them drink a sleep-inducing liquid, prosecutors said. They were blindfolded while Muller played a pre-recorded tape, making it seem like there was more than one kidnapper. Muller put Huskins in the trunk of his car and drove her to his home in South Lake Tahoe, holding her there for two days before releasing her back to her hometown of Huntington Beach.

Investigators said they found video of Muller arranging cameras in a bedroom and then recording himself sexually assaulting his victim twice while she was blindfolded. Muller used deception tactics during and after the kidnapping, using an anonymous email address to send messages to a San Francisco reporter claiming that Huskins was abducted by a team of elite criminals.

After Muller was released, Vallejo police called the kidnapping a hoax and erroneously likened it to the book and movie “Gone Girl,” which is about a girl who goes missing and then lies about being kidnapped after she reappears.

Investigators dropped the theory after Muller was arrested at an attempted robbery at another San Francisco area home. Police said they found a cell phone leading them to Muller which led to a search of his car and home. That search turned up evidence, including a computer Muller stole from Quinn, linking him to the abduction.

If you or someone you love is suspected of kidnapping or assault, contact Orange County criminal defense lawyer Staycie R. Sena at (949)477-8088 for a consultation now.