Matthew Muller sentenced for raping woman he kidnapped in Vallejo case once deemed hoax

Matthew Muller, the man who abducted Denise Huskins in Vallejo, sparking a case in which police initially accused her of staging her own kidnapping, was sentenced Friday to 31 years in prison for raping her during her ordeal.

"Commonly referred to as forcible rape, what is your plea?" asked Judge Daniel Healy of Solano County Superior Court.

"No contest, your honor, replied Muller, a former attorney and Marine.

In a Vallejo courtroom, Muller pleaded no contest to two counts of rape, admitting that he had sexually assaulted her.

Vallejo police had initially accused Huskins of faking her own kidnappings, which Solano County prosecutor Sharon Henry lamented.

"It’s a travesty of justice, and mistakes were made," Henry said.

Vallejo police investigators had concluded that Huskins and her boyfriend had made up a story about being blindfolded and drugged by a stranger in a wetsuit before she was taken away. She showed up days later near her father's home in Southern California.

In reality, it was Muller who kidnapped Huskins, held her captive and raped her in a Lake Tahoe cabin and drove her across the state to Orange County, where he let her go.

On Friday, Muller, appeared via zoom from Napa State Hospital, where his mental health had been restored. The judge made sure Muller understood the legal implications of his plea.

Back in 2017, Muller was sentenced to 40 years in prison on a federal kidnapping charge. But "full justice was not achieved," said Henry, a chief deputy district attorney.

She said Muller was never held accountable for raping Huskins or terrorizing her boyfriend Aaron Quinn, until now. 

"He deserved justice, and Denise Huskins Quinn also deserved justice related to the sexual assault crimes that were committed against her," Henry said.

Attorney Dan Russo, who had previously represented Quinn when police had viewed him with suspicion said, "Muller, I believe, is a psychopath."

Russo said he’s worried if Muller ever gets paroled.

"That’s why I'm appalled at the resolution. But I’ve got to respect my clients. They didn’t want to go through a trial with that lunatic," Russo said.