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Canfield girl, 11, falsely accused of rape, suit says



Published: Wed, April 24, 2013 @ 12:09 a.m.

photo

Gains

By Peter H. Milliken

milliken@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

A Canfield couple has sued the city of Canfield and some of its police officers and brass and an assistant Mahoning County prosecutor for at least $5 million in federal court, saying their 11-year daughter was maliciously prosecuted and falsely imprisoned on rape charges, of which she was later acquitted.

The lawsuit was filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court by Michael and Renee Rubesich, of Willow Bend Drive, against Anissa Modarelli, an assistant county prosecutor assigned to juvenile court; Canfield Police Chief Chuck Colucci, Detective Brian McGivern, Sgt. Scott Weamer and officers Timothy Lamping and Lea Byers; the city of Canfield; and 20 John Doe defendants who the suit says are police officers, detectives, supervisors, in-charge officers or commanders.

“We’ll review the complaint and take whatever action is appropriate,” said county Prosecutor Paul J. Gains, adding that he hadn’t seen the lawsuit. “It’s pending litigation. I’m not going to comment” further, Gains said.

Colucci said he was aware of the suit, but added that the department had not been served with the documents so he could not comment.

None of the other named defendants could be reached to comment at the Canfield Police Department Tuesday evening.

The charges arose when “a well-connected political player” told former Canfield Police Chief David Blystone on April 16, 2012, that his daughter and two other 11-year-old girls said they were raped by the plaintiffs’ daughter; and Blystone told Colucci, who “applied political pressure” on McGivern to pursue the case, the lawsuit says.

“Defendants knowingly prosecuted an innocent person,” and violated her constitutional rights, according to the lawsuit filed by Attys. Steven M. and J. Michael Goldberg of Solon and Atty. Robert F. DiCello of Mentor.

McGivern told Modarelli that he didn’t believe the allegations, but Modarelli advised McGivern to custodially interrogate and arrest the plaintiffs’ daughter “even if she denied the allegations and they had no other evidence supporting her arrest,” the lawsuit says.

On April 20, 2012, the officers questioned the Rubesiches’ daughter for about five hours without food, water or rest as she was falling asleep on her mother’s lap, despite her consistent denial of the charges, and jailed her on multiple rape counts without probable cause through April 24, 2012, the suit says.

The plaintiffs’ daughter was tried by Magistrate Richard White of Mahoning County Juvenile Court, who acquitted her of all 12 rape counts, one attempted rape count and two counts of gross sexual imposition in the 15-count delinquency complaint.

Magistrate White presided over the trial on Aug. 7 and 10, 2012; the prosecution objected to the acquittal; and Judge Theresa Dellick upheld Magistrate White’s verdict on Oct. 31, 2012.

One of the accusers recanted and gave officers information “that showed the three accusers conspired to fabricate their allegation,” the suit says.

The city of Canfield purportedly failed to properly train its officers in juvenile sex-crime investigations, the suit says.

“Plaintiffs have been psychically harmed and require on-going psychiatric care as a result of defendants’ actions,” the lawsuit adds.

The complaint demands a jury trial.


Comments

1vinglass(238 comments)posted 1 year, 6 months ago

This, if true, is outrageous. I wonder who the "political player" is?

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2steelwagon(284 comments)posted 1 year, 6 months ago

Fire the whole sorry bunch !!
I recall hearing about this and I remember being very dismayed that an 11 year kid had been charged with rape.

Thank God there was never a rape !!
But it sure begs the question ....."What the hell is wrong with the so called adults and alleged professional ???

'

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3RTS1416(117 comments)posted 1 year, 6 months ago

Are the "false accusers" being charged and held?

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4peggygurney(399 comments)posted 1 year, 6 months ago

What does it say about these "innocent" little girls, that they know enough about rape, to 'conspire' to come up with such a story??

IMO, the parents of these girls are just as much to blame.

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5canfieldrebel(37 comments)posted 1 year, 6 months ago

This article does not even begin to touch upon the mental anguish, grief, and corruption of justice that this family and young girl have endured. This child was placed under house arrest, was not allowed to live with her family, and was not allowed to enjoy the freedoms that other children enjoy...for months. She was incarcerated and prosecuted as a sex offender, without anything other than hearsay evidence. Even today, the whispers behind the back, finger pointing and bullying continues, both in the community and in the school. The school continually and repeatedly turns its head as this child is victimized in school. This child, totally acquitted of any wrongdoing, will forever be known in Canfield as "that girl who raped girls x, y & z. This is wrong and she and her family deserve their day in court to publically clear her name. The parents of the girls, equally complicit in the false accusations of their juvenile daughters, deserve to be held accountable legally and financially. Supposed "community leaders", "pillars of the church", "influential people" have long enjoyed special consideration in Canfield...this is no surprise, except for the fact that an 11 year old and her family are now the victims of this common Canfield practice. It is disgusting, and it is despicable. The Canfield police and the Mah. Co. Juvenile prosecutor should be trusted to uphold the law and to investigate the facts. They have both been negligent in their duties and also deserve punishment.
I wish this family good luck. I hope they are somehow able to get some peace, happiness, and comfort as they pursue vindication for their daughter through our legal system.

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6redeye1(4564 comments)posted 1 year, 6 months ago

I trully hope this family wins at least 5 million dollars. If I'm picked to be on the jury I will fight to give them even more. There is no reason for any family to go thru something like this without an decent investigation. The keystone Kops of Canfield who did arrest her should be fire for incompetence , along with the Juvie prosecutor.

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7walter_sobchak(1922 comments)posted 1 year, 6 months ago

canfieldrebel,
I have no knowledge i this case but what I have read. If three girls allege that they have been raped by another youth, this is not hearsay evidence but direct testimony. Therefore, a juvenile trial was conducted and the young giurl was acquitted of the charges, which was subsequently upheld by Judge Dellick. Now, if one of the witnesses later recants her testimony, thereby committing perjury, we hav a crime that must be adjudicated. I have to believe with these smart-ass kids today that the absolute truth lies somewhere in the middle. Unfortunately, our judicial system is based on truth and when witnesses do not tell the truth, the system fails. My bet is the prosecutor is found not guilty of any wrong-doing. Now, if some influential person or "political player" was working the system under the table, we have a separate issue. However, how much power does this person have politically if an elected judge upholds an acquittal?

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82bfair(1 comment)posted 1 year, 6 months ago

I am so sickened by this! I think the so called " accusers" should be confined in the same manner this little girl has been. If your big enough to come up with such an adult scheme then you should be big enough to face the Adult consequences. It seems to me by reading this story--there was no serious evidence but some serious doubt from the beginning. When I read this story last year-I couldnt believe what I was reading. Something from the very beginning seemed so fishy. You cant tell me at 11 yrs old--one little girl had the power to rape not 1 but 3 little girls at the same party? what were the others doing while it was happening! even more so-that this little girl has had to face shame and embarassment because of spoiled little brats!! I hope this family gets every bit of justice for their child! and get the hell out of Canfield--

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9canfieldrebel(37 comments)posted 1 year, 6 months ago

@Walter...no physical evidence of crime. Just accusations of the girls. Which were later recanted. The father of one of the girls related an accusation of his daughter about the purported incident to the retired police chief, who then contacted the current police chief. If there were a crime and this person was so outraged by the crime against his daughter, then why did he not immediately contact the police? Why act through third parties?

hearsay evidence
noun

: evidence based not on a witness's personal knowledge but on another's statement not made under oath

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10lumper(281 comments)posted 1 year, 6 months ago

we need names to go with the accusations. the "player" should have played by the rules and not his connections. hire your own attorney to advise you who to initiate contact with and take you through the process. now your kid deserves time in jail.
Question : how can you be under house arrest and not be allowed to live with your family ?

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11GlacierReview(5 comments)posted 1 year, 6 months ago

The article really doesn't make much sense. If there is a lawsuit filed then the "political player" should've been named in it... Shouldn't he have...or she? After all it was the parent of the victim. Why does the vindy play these games ...put it on the table. Oh.... Is it that the media can't really name political power houses....hmmmmm.

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12semperfidelis(6 comments)posted 1 year, 6 months ago

This is a first for me,but this story hit my heart. There is a good article on www.wkbn.com ( lawsuit: 11 year old girl falsely accused) that did mention some name. Why was this not on any of the news tv station? This little girl gets arrested and goes to juvy, so I wonder what about the girls that did the bomb alert several weeks ago? Did they get arrested? anyone know? To the family of this little girl, YOU must be one strong, supportive loving family to have gone through this for as long as you did and did not give up. I give you a lot of credit because how many others would have given up and not fought the fight.......the battle ahead of you will be a tough one but hang in there.....semperFi

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13walter_sobchak(1922 comments)posted 1 year, 6 months ago

canfieldrebel,
When it comes to juveniles, parents often have to get involved in some circumstances as kids are reluctant to be open and forthright, espacially cases of bullying and abuse, due to peer pressure. I have been involved in cases where I found things out from some child about what a third party has done to someone. Am I going to remain quiet? No, I contact the child's parents and alert them so they can get involved as it is their responsibility to protect their children. I have no knowledge of this case but what I read in the articles. But, accusations were made, investigations were conducted for whatever reason, and a trial was held in juvenile court, which operates under different rules than normal courts. Investigations are often conducted based on hearsay evidence; nothing new there. If the alleged victims testify in court, it is not hearsay. There was an acquittal, just as there are acquittals in other cases. That is our judicial system; it's the best that money can buy. just ask O.J. But, it is highly doubtful that the prosecutor or police will be found complicit in any wrong-doing. If these kids lied, then they must be severely punished.

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14canfieldrebel(37 comments)posted 1 year, 6 months ago

@Walter...You said it all....It is the best judicial system that money can buy. You don't know the facts, and I certainly don't need a parenting lesson from you. You seem to have some very misguided trust in our judicial system and in the juvenile court. There are "pillars of society" there too. Nice flippant reference to OJ Simpson...you may think it is cute, but its not even relevant or appropriate in this situation.

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15semperfidelis(6 comments)posted 1 year, 6 months ago

@Walter : quote ( WKBN news article. police believed three accusers were lying, one accusers told police group conspired to get this little girl in trouble, incomplete investigation, no evidence to support the allegations.) So Walter, what do you not understand.? 15 counts against this little girl and she survived both a magistrate and a Judge decision! We should recruit the three accusers for our Homeland security. They did a real good job making up false statements to police and prosecutor so they are the ones who should be charged with something. What could they be charged with as I have no idea. semperfi

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16RobertH(50 comments)posted 1 year, 6 months ago

.
.
.
So nice to see Canfield is alive and well. I left Canfield when I became an adult. Having seen Canfield Games as a kid learning there is a contemporary Canfield Clique that fabricated a heinous story about another person isn't at all surprising. (could say my childhood spent in Canfield was an immunization against Reality Entertainment and Gratuitous Drama.)

It's that this time the fabrications didn't stay on the playground or among the Mommies and Daddies, this time it went to Official channels and now theres going to be hell to pay.

Nothing too unusual in the Prosecutor pursuing a case against the advice of the investigators. Seen all sorts of things move forward when advisors suggest against it and / or there is no evidence to support the allegations.

What I find most disturbing is what hasn't happened yet: From what we know of the people of Canfield, and people in general, is the people of Canfield will find some reason and way to hold the victim of this conspiracy responsible for everything. Everything from "if these girls liked you they wouldn't be trying to destroy you" to "This law suit is all your fault because you can't take getting kicked in the teeth and liking it".

What a nice little drama ....
.

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17lumper(281 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

donald slater, donald slater, donald slater

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18GiGi(4 comments)posted 1 year ago

I haven't heard anything in recent months as to how this situation is being handled. If you have further information, please reply to my comment... Ty
On a separate note, the prosecutor of this case was also the JJC prosecutor, whom was in charge of the case of a Canfield juvenile, whom while intoxicated and driving recklessly, killed my 17 year old Son, Kevin.
During the defendants trial she sat firmly AND UNFORTUNATELY, SILENTLY, in her chair at the prosecution' stable throughout the entire sentencing portion. She said nothing. She added no comments in regard to sentencing. She DID NOT OBJECT, when the VISITING, APPOINTED, RETIRED, Judge denied me to read my victims statement as I was told to prepare and bring to court during the sentencing trial... When the Judge asked her if she had anything to add before sentencing, SHE REPLIED, "No Your Honor"... The Judges stare of astonishment was noted by all! After the defendant was sentenced to a mere 6 months of probation, for ending my sons life, myself, my Mother and the prosecutor entered a room, where she did NOT offer condolences or explain her lack of why she did NOT do her job. To add injury to insult, she made this statement to myself, my Mother and 2 other JJC employees... " Well, you know everyone drives drunk." " I've done it". I was still in state of shock over the sentencing outcome when she made these statements. I composed myself long enough to reply... How many of us in this room have killed someone in the process? She shot me a glare and immediately exited the room. She, her attitude, cruel comments and lack of doing her job were reported to Paul Gains. As I was told, she called a friend, an Attorney and was dismayed that she had been reported. To this date, a year + later, she has received NO PUNISHMENT. It appears that this other case occurred after her lack of performance of doing her job in the case of the defendant. Was she at this point, going to the total opposite degree of doing her job? I remain mystified by her actions, or lack there of, I should say. I hope this family does see the wheels of justice carried out in only positive ways. Stories, incidents, facts NEED TO BE SHARED. These officials MUST BE SANCTIONED AND HELD ACCOUNTABLE.
Additionally, the judge of Mahoning county JJC refused to have my sons case heard by a Mahoning county JJC judge. The head honcho called in a retired judge from another county to hear and decide sentencing? Why you ask? Not to ruffle anyone's feathers in the Canfield Community!!! Judges right at JJC had no affiliations with either family and COULD HAVE HEARD THE CASE. Now I see she is having her own problems with the law... I wish for her the same, fair treatment I had ASSumed my Son's case would receive BUT DID NOT. My faith in the judicial system, police dept's and media networks in NIL!!! Please, before you vote... RESEARCH ALL CANDIDATES!!! Ty
Mother of Victim

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