The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld the dismissal of a Troy man’s malicious prosecution suit against the Oakland County Prosecutor and the City of Troy, because the prosecutor
Gerald Molnar was acquitted of sexually abusing his nine year old daughter. During the investigation, Molnar’s daughter told police that Molnar had touched her in a sexual way. However, both Molnar and his girlfriend both told Troy detective Janice Pokley that the charges were brought in retaliation for Molnar threatening to go to authorities because his ex-wife, Renee, allowed her brother, a convicted sex offender, to be around their daughter. Pokley was also told by the girlfriend that she was there at all times when he was with his daughter and the incident did not happen.
Pokley included the daughter’s statement, but not Molnar’s and his girlfriend’s statement, into her report to the Oakland prosecutor.
Molnar brought Section 1983 and 1985 claims against the defendants, arguing that the city and prosecutor falsely created probable cause.
The Sixth Circuit affirmed the district court’s dismissal, stating:
Molnar argues that Officer Pokely (1) fabricated probable cause and (2) failed to disclose exculpatory information. As evidence of these claims, he points to Officer Pokely’s failure to disclose in her police report that his girlfriend corroborated his statements and that Renee’s brother
was a pedophile. However, what was excluded from Pokely’s police report is simply not material to resolving the issue of whose statements the state court relied on to establish probable cause. At the preliminary hearing, the Prosecutor called one witness, Elizabeth. Molnar, in rebuttal, called Renee, Pokely, and Allen. Even accepting Molnar’s allegation that Detective Pokely “knowingly
supplied the magistrate with false information,” Darrah, 255 F.3d at 311, the state court did not rely on her testimony to establish probable cause. Rather, it bound him over for trial based on Elizabeth’s “very believable” testimony. Thus, Molnar’s reliance on Darrah is misplaced, because the state court relied on the victim’s testimony to establish probable cause.
The unpublished opinion can be found here.