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Canfield PD responds to federal lawsuit in rape case

Published: Fri, April 26, 2013 @ 12:08 a.m.

Staff report


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 later was 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.


1Southside_Res(170 comments)posted 1 year, 3 months ago

Regardless of whether these allegations may be "erroneous", one shouldn't discount the fact that Canfield has a huge public image issue. Many of us refer to the Canfield PD as Nazi police. I stopped doing business in Canfield because I got pulled over for the stupidest reason, and no ticket. Canfield isn't worth the time. I wonder if business owners know why they don't get some business.

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2semperfidelis(6 comments)posted 1 year, 3 months 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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3123goz(538 comments)posted 1 year, 3 months ago

It's all fine and dandy to take the cops to court. After all, the city is the one that has the money. The cops did what they are supposed to do, over zealous we shall see, but just because the girl was found not to have done anything does not mean the police did some thing wrong. Lots of people go to court and walk away.
But why are the pretty little liars left out of this? That is who started it all, why are they not in trouble? Are they and the political dad walking away? Is political dad getting a cut of the 5 mil?

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4Silence_Dogood(1330 comments)posted 1 year, 3 months ago

So what the Vindy is suggesting is that a local Politician used undue influence to charge someone (a minor at that) with a crime. The standards for prosecution were not strong enough to bring a case to court, but they were charged anyways. If it were any Tom, Dick or Harry off the street the police would have said right from the start that there was not enough evidence to bring charges, so it never would have gotten to the prosecutors office. Now with that said it is telling that the Vindy will not state the name of the politician, it is also interesting that these little brats have not been charged also. So it would seem that this politician is STILL using undue influence not only on the legal system but also on the media for not exposing him. He really must be a local darling of the Democratic party because if he was a Republican you could be assured that the Media and the Courts would be all over this guy.

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5semperfidelis(6 comments)posted 1 year, 3 months 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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6123goz(538 comments)posted 1 year, 3 months ago

from WKBN
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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7123goz(538 comments)posted 1 year, 3 months 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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8gdog4766(1461 comments)posted 1 year, 3 months ago

Terminate the flunkie, lackey Blystone first for initiating this nightmare. Strip him of all pension benefits as his transgression occurred during his disgraced tenure with CPD.

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