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Canfield Police Department responds to federal lawsuit



Published: Thu, April 25, 2013 @ 8:12 p.m.

Canfield Police Department responds to federal lawsuit

Canfield Police Department responds to federal lawsuit

Staff report

CANFIELD

The Canfield Police Department has responded to a federal lawsuit, which claims an 11-year-old girl was held for questioning for about five hours and charged in a rape case.

The girl was later acquitted; now her family is seeking at least $5 million.

The department acted “entirely in accordance with its obligation and with the utmost professionalism given the extremely sensitive nature of the case,” states a Thursday news release from the city of Canfield.

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.

The city will be defending itself and its officers against the “erroneous allegations,” the release states.

“It should be noted however, that statements in the complaint related to the conduct of members of the city’s police department appear to be completely fabricated and not based on reality of the actual facts surrounding the investigation in any measure,” the release states.

Colucci said insurance covers the police department in the event of a lawsuit and an attorney would be chosen through the insurance.

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.

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.

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


Comments

1gdog4766(1252 comments)posted 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Find out and expose the political player. And Canfield show some backbone and clean house. Nothing is more dangerous then criminal cops. Look at Struthers, a young boy was tortured and beaten to death and Struthers P.D. Knew about it. Now here some politician used the cops as his personal lackies. If the chief and his flunkies won't resign and lose all pension benefits, terminate.

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2vinglass(221 comments)posted 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Who is this "political player", who has the Canfield police chief do his bidding??

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3semperfidelis(6 comments)posted 11 months, 3 weeks ago

So , this little girls has Attorneys from somewhere in Columbus, that fabricated these allegations. Not one attorney but 3. ( completely fabricated and erroneous allegations). I do not think so!! Yes and they( defendants CPD and all) arrested this little girl after one accusers recanted that showed the 3 conspired to FABRICATE their story to get her in trouble.Yes they did arrest her! Canfield City, this little girl won the first battle( 15 counts) did you get that 15 counts!! Both a Judge and Magistrate agreed she was innocent, what does that say about the defendants in this.. So, I say to this little girl and her family "Fortitudine Vincimus" NOW go win the war. God bless you and your family . semperFi

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4canfieldrebel(37 comments)posted 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Don't know why the Vindicator continues to perpetuate intrigue in their reporting of this case. For a better account....check out http://www.wkbn.com/2013/04/24/lawsui...

Not surprised by the "Who me?" stance of the Canfield police. Just another representation of the total lack of accountability and responsibility by both elected and appointed officials in Canfield. It is all about covering your rear end and protecting your own friends and family, no matter at whose expense, no matter what the truth. If you have the right buddies, go to the right church and contribute enough money to Canfield causes, the sky is the limit as far as what you can do, and get away with.

Sadly, an 11 year old was caught up in a web of lies by three other 11 year olds, who targeted her to be their bullied victim. No proof. No physical evidence. Just statements by 11 year olds, who had just enough knowledge about sex and rape to spin their lies and whip their parents into a frenzy. Common sense would dictate that a single 11 year old girl could not wrangle enough strength to forcibly rape 3 other girls, on the same night. But there lies the problem....there is no common sense in this case. And what parent seeks out a retired police chief to conversationally relay the possibility that this incident occurred, and then ask the retired police chief to intervene with the current police chief. What was this parent afraid of? What were his intentions? Common sense would also dictate that a parent, whose daughter had been allegedly raped, would immediately call the police, file a report, and have their daughter checked out.

The end result of all of this nonsense is tragic. An 11 year old girl was arrested and prosecuted for a sex offense. She was incarcerated and held on house arrest for months. She was deemed a "sexual predator", and as such could not live in her own house with her own siblings, and could have no contact with other juveniles. Both she and her family endured months of anguish, but held fast to the knowledge that she was innocent. Apparently both a magistrate and the juvenile judge agreed. Thank goodness that someone had some common sense. It is just tragic that it took so long, and that the personal and financial costs were so high. All of this because three mean little Canfield girls decided to target and bully another girl in their class.

Where does the madness end? It should end with charges against the three girls who made the false accusations. The defendants in this case should be held accountable for their negligence and dereliction of duty. The family of the accused child have every right to seek vindication and to clear her name. I hope they are successful.

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5123goz(453 comments)posted 11 months, 3 weeks ago

The complaint says Donald Slater, who the lawsuit describes as a “well-connected political player” who was a former campaign manager and bailiff to a sitting judge told former Canfield Police Chief David Blystone his daughter was raped by the girl.

Blystone, the suit alleges, told Slater he would “motivate the Canfield police to take immediate and swift action on his behalf.” Blystone then called Colucci and explained he was personal friends with Slater and wanted action taken, the suit alleges.

Slater, the suit says, had no direct knowledge of the allegations. McGiver was assigned to the case and after an initial investigation, told Modarelli he had no evidence of rape and that he believed the three girls were lying.

Modarelli, the suit alleges, agreed, but pushed McGivern to interrogate the girl to protect Colucci’s relationship with Blystone even if evidence failed to support the allegation.

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6semperfidelis(6 comments)posted 11 months, 3 weeks ago

@123gz. I am not a lawyer, but you could check the law concerning statues of minor. So maybe the pretty little liars and their families someday will be involved. So if the investigation that the police did with this case was done correctly , BECAUSE they have insurance, as stated by Chief of Police, they have nothing to worry about. There is a big But if there is truth to what the 3, let me say that again ""3"" attorneys are stating. SemperFi.

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7olddude(194 comments)posted 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Sounds as though there is much more to the story... Stay tuned..In cases such as these, Government officials always include that insurance policies cover situations such as these, as if letting the public know that 5 million would not come out of pockets of the tax payers.. Who pays the premiums for these policies? And I wonder how much those premiums are..

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8123goz(453 comments)posted 11 months, 3 weeks ago

The suit alleges Colucci pushed McGivern to a fast, incomplete investigation to file criminal charges.

Colucci “in turn applied political pressure to Detective McGivern, demonstrating to McGivern that this prosecution was a personal priority of the chief’s that would affect McGivern’s career at the Canfield Police Department if he did not listen to” him.

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