Gillispie v. City of Miami Twp., Case No. 3:13-cv-416

CourtUnited States District Courts. 6th Circuit. United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. Southern District of Ohio
Writing for the CourtJudge Thomas M. Rose
PartiesROGER DEAN GILLISPIE, Plaintiff, v. THE CITY OF MIAMI TOWNSHIP, et al., Defendants.
Decision Date21 September 2020
Docket NumberCase No. 3:13-cv-416

ROGER DEAN GILLISPIE, Plaintiff,
v.
THE CITY OF MIAMI TOWNSHIP, et al., Defendants.

Case No. 3:13-cv-416

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF OHIO WESTERN DIVISION AT DAYTON

September 21, 2020


Judge Thomas M. Rose

ENTRY AND ORDER (1) GRANTING, IN PART, AND DENYING, IN PART, DEFENDANT RICHARD WOLFE'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT (DOC. 171); (2) GRANTING, IN PART, AND DENYING, IN PART, DEFENDANT MATTHEW SCOTT MOORE'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT (DOC. 257); (3) GRANTING, IN PART, AND DENYING, IN PART, DEFENDANT MIAMI TOWNSHIP OHIO'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT (DOC. 260); AND (4) DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO STRIKE NEW SUMMARY JUDGMENT MATERIALS FILED FOR THE FIRST TIME IN REPLY (DOC. 284)

Pending before the Court are several motions. First is a Motion for Summary Judgment (the "Wolfe Motion") filed by Defendant Richard Wolfe ("Wolfe"). (Doc. 171.) Second is a Motion for Summary Judgment (the "Moore Motion") filed by Defendant Matthew Scott Moore ("Moore"). (Doc. 257.) Third is a Motion for Summary Judgment (the "Township Motion") filed by Defendant Miami Township, Ohio ("Township"). (Doc. 260.) Fourth is a Motion to Strike New Summary Judgment Materials Filed for the First Time in Reply (the "Motion to Strike") filed by Plaintiff Roger Dean Gillispie ("Gillispie"). (Doc. 284.)

In response to each of the motions, the opposing party filed a response brief. (See Docs. 239, 278, 286, 289.) This includes that Gillispie filed an omnibus response brief in opposition to the Moore Motion and the Township Motion (the "Omnibus Response"). (Doc. 278.)

Page 2

Additionally, in support of each of the motions, the party that filed the motion filed a reply brief. (See Docs. 248, 281, 282, 290.) Each of the motions are fully briefed and ripe for review.

For the reasons discussed below, the Court: 1) DENIES the Motion to Strike (Doc. 284); 2) GRANTS, IN PART, AND DENIES, IN PART, the Moore Motion; 3) GRANTS, IN PART, AND DENIES, IN PART, the Township Motion; and 4) GRANTS, IN PART, AND DENIES, IN PART, the Wolfe Motion. Given the Court's decisions in this Order, no claim will remain pending against the Township or Wolfe in this case.

I. BACKGROUND

The background for Gillispie's claims is extensive, and the Court will not trudge through all of it in this Order. See, e.g., State v. Gillispie, 65 N.E.3d 791, 793-99, 2016-Ohio-7688 (Ohio Ct. App. 2016) (setting forth multipage factual and procedural history of Gillispie's criminal and habeas corpus cases). In his Amended Complaint, Gillispie brings nine counts:

1. Violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for Suppression of Exculpatory Material

2. Violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for Suggestive Identification

3. Violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for Fabricated Evidence

4. Violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for Malicious Prosecution

5. Violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for Destruction of Exculpatory Evidence

6. Malicious Prosecution under Ohio State Law

7. Infliction of Emotional Distress under Ohio State Law

8. Spoliation of Evidence under Ohio State Law

9. Indemnification under Ohio State Law

(Doc. 18.) As is appropriate at this stage, the Court recites relevant facts in the light most favorable to Gillispie, drawing reasonable inferences in his favor. Jackson v. City of Cleveland, 925 F.3d 793, 803 (6th Cir. 2019), cert. denied, 140 S. Ct. 855, 2020 U.S. LEXIS 148 (Jan. 13, 2020).

Page 3

A. Three Women are Raped in August 1988 in the Dayton Area

On August 20, 1988, twin sisters, B.W. and C.W., were abducted at gunpoint from the parking lot of the Best Products store in Miami Township, Ohio, taken to a remote area, and forced to perform oral sex on the perpetrator (the "8/20 Rapes"). Another woman, S.C., later reported being forced to perform oral sex at gunpoint on August 5, 1988 under circumstances similar to the 8/20 Rapes, although that crime fell outside the jurisdiction of the Miami Township Police Department.

B. Detective Gary Bailey and Sergeant Steven Fritz Investigate the 8/20 Rapes

Detective Sergeant Steven Fritz ("Fritz") assigned Detective Gary Bailey ("Bailey") of the Township's police department to investigate the 8/20 Rapes. Bailey interviewed B.W. and C.W., and he created a handwritten report based on his interviews. B.W. and C.W. were shown books of photographs of potential suspects, none of whom were identified. Together, B.W. and C.W. created a composite image of their perpetrator. One (or both) of the twins provided the Township's police department (at least Bailey) with the perpetrator's pants size, which she had observed. Bailey recorded this information in a supplemental report. Additionally, S.C. viewed photographs at the Sheriff's Office and made no identification of her perpetrator, although she created a composite image of him.

Bailey investigated numerous tips and leads regarding the 8/20 Rapes. From time to time, Fritz and Bailey would get together to brainstorm about the case. Fritz would keep up on the case with Bailey and review the reports. Fritz (possibly together with Bailey) developed a profile of the perpetrator. Eventually, however, all of the good leads on the case ran out.

At the time of the rapes, Plaintiff Gillispie worked as a supplemental security officer at General Motors ("GM"), where he had been employed since 1984. There was tension and animosity between Gillispie and his superiors at GM, including Defendant Wolfe. Wolfe had

Page 4

previously worked for the Township's police department as a part-time volunteer from approximately 1974 to 1985, including a portion of time when Defendant Moore's father served as the Township's police chief. Wolfe knew Moore's father. Wolfe's time working for the Township's police department also included a six-month stint as a full-time police officer in 1978, at the end of which Wolfe was hired by GM.

In mid- to late-1989, while Bailey was still a detective for the Township, Wolfe contacted the Township police department, bringing with him a copy of Gillispie's employee identification photo. Prior to this, one of Wolfe's employees at GM had come to Wolfe and informed him that one of that employee's subordinates felt that a composite he had seen of the 8/20 Rapes suspect resembled Gillispie. After looking at the composite, Wolfe agreed. Gillispie had recently been fired from GM. Part of the reason that Wolfe went to the Township's police department was because he previously worked there. Wolfe eventually had a meeting with then-police chief Thomas Angel ("Angel"), Captain Marvin Scothorn ("Scothorn"), Fritz, and Bailey. Bailey and Fritz wrote reports documenting this meeting. At the meeting, Wolfe showed a single GM identification card bearing Gillispie's photo and suggested that Gillispie become a suspect in the 8/20 Rapes. Bailey and Fritz were skeptical, thinking that Wolfe might be being vindictive. Chief Angel ordered Bailey and Fritz to investigate Gillispie as a suspect, and Bailey conducted that work under Fritz's supervision.

Eventually, Bailey and Fritz concluded that Gillispie should be eliminated as a suspect. They informed Chief Angel, who agreed, and they memorialized the elimination in supplemental reports. Some of the reasons why Bailey and Fritz eliminated Gillispie as a suspect included: (1) Gillispie was too large to have the pants size of the perpetrator that B.W and/or C.W. had indicated; (2) Gillispie's lack of any criminal history, while the perpetrator's crimes were brazen—suggesting

Page 5

an extensive criminal history; (3) the perpetrator, who told the victims his name was "Roger," most likely would not have provided his real name; (4) Wolfe's (and other GM employees') apparent animosity toward Gillispie; (5) in their opinion, the picture of Gillispie that Wolfe brought did not match the composite; and (6) the long delay between when the police department had shared the composite of the perpetrator with GM and when Wolfe had suggested Gillispie as a suspect. However, Bailey and Fritz cannot recall all of the reasons why they eliminated Gillispie as a suspect. There were more reasons and details provided in the supplemental reports that they wrote. Bailey submitted all of the supplemental reports to Fritz, and they were placed into two files: the Records Division File and the Working File housed in the Detectives' Section.

Wolfe would call Fritz on occasion, asking about whether the Township police department was going to do anything about Gillispie. Fritz eventually told Wolfe that they were not going to bring charges against Gillispie and that Gillispie was not considered a good suspect.

In early November 1989, Bailey was assigned out of the Detectives' Section. In mid-June 1990, Fritz left the Township's police department. Shortly before Fritz left the department, Wolfe showed up at the police department claiming that he had additional information and providing an envelope with photos in it, which were given to Fritz.

Fritz informed Chief Angel and Captain Scothorn that Defendant Moore would be the best one to assign to the 8/20 Rapes investigation, so long as Moore had supervision. Fritz believed that Moore was tenacious and had the qualities of being a good investigator. However, at the time, Moore was relatively new to the force, and Fritz believed that Moore could be overzealous and had a tendency to go "rogue," sometimes continuing to pursue cases even when he lacked evidence.

C. Moore is Assigned the Investigation in June 1990

On June 18, 1990, Moore was assigned the investigation of the 8/20 Rapes. He received

Page 6

all of the supplemental reports that pre-dated his involvement in the investigation, including the supplemental reports detailing the first meeting with Wolfe and the elimination of Gillispie as a suspect (and the reasoning for doing so). However, those reports were not turned over to the prosecutor or to Gillispie's defense attorney. Moore's ex-wife testified in an affidavit that the supplemental report concerning the previous elimination of Gillispie as a...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT