VALLEJO, Calif. (KTVU) - Matthew Muller has already been sentenced to 40 years in federal prison for kidnapping Denise Huskins - an incident Vallejo police once said she and her boyfriend had engineered.
But now, Muller is back in state court to face charges of raping Huskins, kidnapping her for ransom and terrorizing her boyfriend Aaron Quinn. Prosecutors say the couple will take center stage in court at a preliminary hearing set for next week.
"We expect both victims to testify at the preliminary hearing," said Sharon Henry, a Solano County prosecutor.
But Muller, a disbarred attorney, is now representing himself. And that means Muller would likely cross-examine Huskins about how he allegedly raped her.
"It’s disgusting, but that’s what our Constitution says and, quite frankly, I believe in the Constitution," said Doug Rappaport, an attorney for the couple. "So consequently, while it’s repulsive, it’s required by law.”
Prosecutors say they'll handle the case carefully
"I will do my best to make sure that they are not re-victimized," Henry said. "At the same time, it's important that they relay to the court all of the evidence that supports the charges."
Prosecutors say back in 2015, Muller broke into the couple's home in Vallejo, drugged them and took Huskins to the Tahoe area, where he allegedly raped her before releasing her two days later in Southern California.
Vallejo police initially called the whole thing a hoax. The couple sued, and won a $2.5 million settlement.
And in another twist, Muller this week offered to plead guilty, but only "if the victims donated half of their settlement to the Innocence Project," which helps those who are wrongly convicted, Henry said.
The prosecutor says she won't entertain that proposal, which "in my opinion is absurd and has no place in a criminal prosecution."
Rappaport agreed, saying, "That’s just as foolish as his first ransom demand, when he asked for $8,500. This guy doesn’t learn. They didn’t pay the ransom the first time, and they’re definitely not going to pay it a second time."