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Jane Doe v. Michael O. Barbazette, et al.
Case Number: 1:21-cv-01150
Judge: Anthony J. Trenga
Court: United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia (Fairfax County)
Defendant's Attorney: Heather Kathleen Bardot, Kara Anne Schmidt, Kimberly Pace Baucom, Jamie Marie Greenzweig
Description: Alexandria, Virginia personal injury lawyers represented Plaintiff, who sued Defendants on "Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act violation theories.
In this action under the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (“TVPRA”), 28 U.S.C. §§ 1589 et seq., Jane Doe alleges that Second Amend. Compl. (“SAC”) [Doc. No. 61], Defendants are former Fairfax County Police Department (“FCPD”) officers of varying rank.
Doe was born in Costa Rica and in 2010 was approached by a woman to work as a nanny, housekeeper, or social escort in the United States. SAC ¶¶ 4-5. Unbeknownst to her, Doe was being recruited into a sex trafficking ring run by a woman named Hazel Sanchez. Id. at ¶ 6. Doe arrived at Dulles Airport in October 2010, at which point her belongings were confiscated, her family was threatened, and she was forced to work as a prostitute. Id. at ¶¶ 8-11. Doe was allowed to return home to Costa Rica on occasion, but always returned to Virginia for fear of the harm that
Sanchez would cause to her family if she did not. Id. at ¶ 14. Doe eventually escaped from the Sanchez ring in April 2015. Id. at ¶ 15.
From 2002-2017, William Woolf worked in various roles for FCPD, including as a detective in a federally funded human trafficking task force from October 2013 to 2017. Id. at ¶ 16. Woolf did not receive institutional support in this role and was constantly disparaged by Barbazette and Baumstark. Id. at ¶ 17. Factions within FCPD thwarted and hampered Woolfs efforts to combat sex trafficking in Fairfax County. Id. at¶ 18. Barbazette was Woolfs supervisor, and in 2014-15 took “substantial interest” in Woolfs work, at one point asking for a victim's phone number. Id. at ¶ 19. Barbazette also indicated to Woolf that he was interested in women who provided commercial sex, following which Woolfs investigative work became more difficult. Id. at ¶¶ 19-20. Among other things, Woolfs previously successful investigative efforts stopped turning up leads, and Barbazette became hostile and exercised great control over Woolfs work. Id. at ¶¶ 21-22.
In 2014 or 2015, Woolf reported Barbazette's “unusual and disruptive actions and orders” to Barbazette's supervisor, Baumstark. Id. at ¶ 27. Baumstark refused to help, ordered Woolf to not repeat his comments, and told Woolf that he was alone and that Baumstark would not help him. Id. Woolf informed Baumstark that sex trafficking victims had confided in him that FCPD officers were extorting and protecting sex trafficking rings, but Baumstark told him to ignore it and Baumstark never took any subsequent action, to Doe's detriment. Id. at ¶ 28. Woolf later requested a supervisor other than Barbazette, and in response was ordered by Barbazette to not open any new trafficking investigations and to close his existing cases. Id. at ¶¶ 30-32.
Woolf is a private pilot and in the spring of 2016 was investigated for flying to a witness interview, even though in other instances he was previously granted permission to do so. Id. at ¶ 34.
Scianna conducted an “aggressive” interview, even though Scianna had no supervisory authority over Woolf. Id. Rather, Scianna was told by others, with Roessler's knowledge, to intimidate Woolf so that he would retreat from his sex trafficking investigations. Id. at ¶ 35. Scianna threatened Woolfs career if he continued to fly to meetings, and then turned off the recording device that had been on during the interview. Id. at ¶ 36. After ending the recording, Scianna told Woolf that he (Woolf) knew what this was really about, that he should keep his mouth shut and not speak about human trafficking, that he should think about his kids, and that if Woolf did not cooperate then he would never work in law enforcement again. Id. at ¶ 37. The next day, Woolf told Scianna that he was “on board,” and two days later he received an anonymous call from someone he believes to have been Roessler. Id. at ¶¶ 39-40. Roessler called to confirm that Woolf would “play ball.” Id. at ¶ 40. Woolf later left FCPD in September 2017 to combat human trafficking in other positions. Id. at ¶ 43.
After Doe escaped, the FBI investigated the Sanchez ring with Doe's help. Id. at ¶ 45. The FBI located Barbazette and Mardocco's telephone numbers on Doe's phone. As a result of the FBI investigation, Sanchez was sentenced to five years in prison following a guilty plea on related prostitution charges, but not human trafficking. See Id. at ¶ 47. The FBI's Public Corruption Division then investigated Sanchez's connection to FCPD officers, though declined to file charges against any officers and referred the case back to FCPD. Id. at ¶¶ 48-49. FCPD, with Roessler's approval, allowed Barbazette and Mardocco to resign quietly and maintain their pensions. Id. at ¶ 50.
Doe v. Fairfax Police Officer #1 (E.D. Va. 2022)
Outcome: ORDERED that Defendants Roessler, Baumstark, and Scianna's Motion [Doc. No. 196] be, and the same hereby is, GRANTED as to Scianna and DENIED as to Roessler and Baumstark; and it is further
ORDERED that Defendant Scianna be, and the same hereby is, DISMISSED from the above-captioned matter; and it is further
ORDERED that Defendants Barbazette and Mardocco's Motion [Doc. No. 199] be, and the same hereby is, DENIED as to both Barbazette and Mardocco with respect to Counts I and II, DENIED as to Barbazette with respect to Count III, GRANTED as to Mardocco with respect to Count III, and GRANTED as to both Barbazette and Mardocco with respect to Count IV; and it is further
ORDERED that Plaintiffs Motion for Leave to File Sur-Reply Brief [Doc. No. 227] be, and the same hereby is, GRANTED; and it is further
ORDERED that this Memorandum Opinion and Order shall be placed under seal and that the parties confer as to an appropriate redacted public version and present that proposed redacted copy, together with any unresolved issues, to the Court within seven (7) days of the date of this Memorandum Opinion and Order.
The Clerk is directed to forward copies of this Sealed Memorandum Opinion and Order via e-mail to all counsel of record.