United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania
Richard Anthony Moore brings this civil rights action against
the Borough of Ephrata; the City of Lancaster, Ephrata Police
Detectives Peter G. Sheppard and Graeme Quinn, Lancaster City
Police Officer Matthew Odenthal, and John Does
1-10. (Doc. No. 25 ¶¶ 4-12.)
Moore's claim against Sheppard, Quinn, and Odenthal is in
their individual capacities.
Counts I and II of his First Amended Complaint
("FAC"), Moore alleges claims of false arrest and
malicious prosecution against Ephrata Detectives Peter G.
Sheppard and Graeme Quinn and Lancaster Police Officer
Matthew Odenthal under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 ("Section
1983"), in violation of his Fourth and Fourteenth
Amendment rights. (Id. ¶¶ 47 -61.) In
Counts III and IV, he raises Monell claims against
the Borough of Ephrata and the City of Lancaster,
respectively. (Id. at 9-10.) Ephrata and the
City of Lancaster are located within Lancaster County,
Borough of Ephrata, Detective Peter G. Sheppard, and
Detective Graeme Quinn have filed a Motion to Dismiss the FAC
in its entirety. (Doc. No. 27.) Defendants City of Lancaster
and Officer Matthew Odenthal have also filed a Motion to
Dismiss the FAC in its entirety. (Doc. No. 28.) These Motions
are ripe for disposition.
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
about October 2, 2014, staff members of the Lancaster County
Youth Intervention Center interviewed a then-fifteen-year-old
female ("Jane Roe"). (Doc. Nos. 25 ¶¶ 18-20;
53 at 2.) Roe said that she had consensual sex with an older
male several times during summer 2014. (Doc. No. 53 at 2.)
She did not know his name but indicated that her father might
be able to identify him. (Id.) Roe admitted to using
a synthetic drug known as K-2, which can cause delusions,
prior to the interview. (Doc. No. 25 ¶ 21.) She also
admitted that she had recently used
methylenedioxymethamphetamine (commonly known as ecstasy) and
marijuana. She was then scheduled to have an interview at the
Lancaster County Children's Alliance. (Doc. No. 53 at 2.)
November 19, 2014, Roe was interviewed by Mary Halye, a
social worker at the Children's Alliance. (Id.)
She told Halye that sometime in summer 2014, she met a black
male with short hair in Ephrata, Pennsylvania. (Id.)
She described him as an individual in his forties who often
wears a sweater, sweatpants, and brown work boots, and
referred to him as "Dude" or "the guy."
(Id; Doc. No. 54-2 at 6.) She stated that she met
"Dude" on or about July 1, 2014 and that they had
their first sexual encounter that same day at the Ephrata
Motel. (Doc. No. 25 ¶ 24.) Roe remembered the July 1,
2014 date because that night, her friend was admitted to the
hospital for attempted suicide. (Doc. No. 53 at 2.) Roe said that
she and "Dude" had sexual intercourse three times
during summer 2014 at the Ephrata Motel. (Id.)
the Ephrata Police Department was sent this information and
commenced an investigation. Sometime in January 2015, the
Ephrata Police Department notified the Lancaster City Bureau
of Police that Roe had reported having sexual relations with
an adult male, with one incident taking place at the Marriott
hotel in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. (Doc. No. 54-2 at 6.)
During the course of their investigation, Ephrata Detectives
Peter G. Sheppard and Graeme Quinn obtained a guest log from
the Ephrata Motel. (Doc. No. 25 ¶ 25.) The log revealed
that Moore was a guest at the Ephrata Motel on July 1, 2014
and July 2, 2014. (Id. ¶ 26.) Sometime in
February 2015, Detective Graeme Quinn of the Ephrata Police
Department identified Moore as Roe's perpetrator and
notified Lancaster City Police Officer Matthew Odenthal.
(Doc. No. 54-2 at 6.)
March 10, 2015, Moore voluntarily went to the Ephrata police
station to speak with Detectives Sheppard and
Quinn. (Doc. No. 53 at 3.) He told the detectives
that he often went to the downtown Ephrata area to speak with
children to discuss the Bible and that the children would
call him "preacherman." (Id.) He also
stated that he had spent some evenings at the Ephrata Motel.
(Id.) Moore mentioned that sometime in fall 2014, at
a McDonald's restaurant, someone accused him of being
involved with that person's daughter. (Id.) At
the interview, the detectives asked whether Moore knew Roe.
(Doc. No. 25 ¶ 36.) Moore said he did not.
(Id.) After they showed him a photo of Roe, Moore
clarified that he had seen her before but did not know her or
ever interacted with her. (Id. ¶ 37.)
unspecified point during their investigation, Detectives
Sheppard and Quinn met with Roe and showed her a photo of
Moore, unaccompanied by any other photos of other suspects.
(Id. ¶ 33.) The detectives asked her whether
the individual in the photo was her rapist. (Id.)
Roe said that it was. (Id.)
5, 2015, Ephrata Detective Sheppard secured an arrest warrant
for Moore from a magistrate judge after submitting an
Affidavit of Probable Cause. (Doc. No. 53 at 2-3.) The
Affidavit states, in pertinent part, as follows:
AFFIDAVIT OF PROBABLE CAUSE
1. In October 2014, the female victim, [Roe] (DOB:03/26/99)
reported to staff at the Youth Intervention Center that she
had consensual sex with an older male several times over the
summer of 2014. She related that she does not know his name
but a friend of hers . . . may know his name and that her
father may be able to identify the subject. As a result of
this disclosure [Roe] was scheduled to have an interview at
the Children's Alliance.
2. On November 19, 2014, an Alliance Interview was conducted
by Mary Halye, MSW. [Roe] disclosed that she had met someone
during the summer in Ephrata that went by the name
"dude." [Roe] stated that "dude", later
identified as [Plaintiff] Richard Anthony Moore, was a black
male with short hair who was in his 40's. [Roe] related
that she had sexual intercourse with Moore three times during
the summer of 2014 at the Ephrata Motel located at 535 South
State street ....
3. [Roe] relates that the first sexual encounter happened on
the same night one of her friends had attempted suicide and
was in the hospital. A check of hospital records indicate
that her friend . . . was transported to Hershey Medical
Center on July 01, 2014.
4. The Ephrata Motel maintains a guest book to document who
rents rooms in their establishment along with the date and
the room number. A check of the guest book at the Ephrata
Motel shows that Richard Moore rented room #7 on July 01,
2014 and July 02, 2014.
5. A police records check along with a check of the
landlord/tenant listings showed that Moore had lived [in] . .
. Ephrata, PA., during the summer of 2014. Moore fit the
description provided by [Roe] and [her friend] and both
identified Moore as the person they had known as
"dude" or "D." Your affiant [Detective
Sheppard] and Detective Quinn met with [Roe's father].
[Roe's father] positively identified Moore as the subject
he had confronted in the Lancaster McDonalds after [Roe] had
pointed him out - telling [Roe's father] that Moore was
the person who had raped her. [Roe's father] had spoken
with Moore and asked him if he knew his daughter [Roe] - to
which Moore acknowledged seeing her around but denied any
contact with her.
6. On March 10, 2015, at approximately 1335 hrs, Richard
Moore came to the Ephrata Police Department to speak with
your Affiant [Detective Sheppard] and Detective Quinn. The
non-custodial interview took place in Interview room #4
within the Ephrata Police Department. Moore related that he
did frequent the downtown Ephrata area and would speak with
the kids in an effort to talk to them "about the Bible
and things of that nature" and that the kids call him
"preacherman." He related that he also has spent
some nights at the Ephrata Motel when [Moore's
girlfriend] would kick him out after an argument. Moore also
related that he was confronted in the fall of 2014 by someone
in the Lancaster McDonalds who had accused him of being
involved with his daughter. Moore initially denied knowing
the victim but later acknowledged knowing her but says that
he did not assault her.
30, 2015, Moore was arrested by Ephrata police officers for
statutory sexual assault; involuntary deviate sexual
intercourse with a person less than 16 years of age;
corruption of minors; and unlawful contact with a minor.
(Doc. No. 25 ¶ 13; Ct. Summ., Commonwealth v.
Moore, Cr. A. No. CP-36-CR-0005763-2015 (Pa. Ct. Comm.
PI. Lancaster Cty2015).)
on August 5, 2015, Lancaster City Police Officer Matthew
Odenthal filed a Criminal Complaint supported by an Affidavit
of Probable Cause to arrest Moore. (Doc. No. 54-2 at 2 -6.)
The criminal complaint charged Moore with involuntary deviate
sexual intercourse; statutory sexual assault; unlawful
contact with a minor; and corruption of minors. (Id.
Odenthal's Affidavit of Probable Cause states, in
pertinent part, as follows:
AFFIDAVIT OF PROBABLE CAUSE
I. That in January of 2015, the Lancaster City Bureau of
Police were notified by Ephrata Police Department that [Roe]
reported having sexual relations with an adult male and that
one occurrence happened at the Marriott Hotel in Lancaster,
II. That [Roe] was interviewed at the [REDACTED] ¶ 19
November 2014. During that interview [Roe] referred to the
person who had committed theses [sic] acts as
"dude" or "the guy". [Roe] stated that
"the guy" was known to her from the Ephrata area.
The two met in a men's bathroom at the Marriott Hotel
located at 25 S. Queen Street, Lancaster PA in
August/September of 2014 (the beginning of the school year).
The guy made her [have] . . . sexual intercourse ... on the
bathroom floor. [Roe] described him as a tall black male with
short hair who often wears a sweater, sweatpants and brown
III. That in February of 2015, Detective Graeme Quinn,
Ephrata Police Department notified this affiant that he had
identified the [sic] "the guy", as Richard Anthony
MOORE, B/M/49, D.O.B.: 12/20/1965.
IV. That the victim was [REDACTED] years old and the
defendant was approximately 48 years old at the time of the
incident and the two were not married to each other. The
sexual acts performed on and with [Roe] tended to corrupt her
same day, Moore was arrested by Lancaster City police
officers for statutory sexual assault and the related
charges. (Doc. No. 25 ¶ 14.)
charges in both cases were consolidated for trial in the
Court of Common Pleas of Lancaster County. (Id.
¶ 45.) On or about November 3, 2016, Moore was acquitted
of all charges following a jury trial. (Id.)
case, Moore alleges that despite the allegations within the
four corners of the probable cause affidavit, he was
unlawfully arrested by both the Ephrata police and the
Lancaster police because neither Detective Sheppard nor
Police Officer Odenthal had probable cause to arrest him.
(Id. ¶¶ 13, 14.) In this regard, he
alleges in his FAC and in his response to Defendants'
claim that there was probable cause to arrest him, first that
Ephrata Detectives Sheppard and Quinn improperly ignored the
fact that Roe had used a delusional drug prior to her
interview with the Lancaster County Children's Alliance
and therefore her allegations should have been deemed too
unreliable to support the probable cause. (Id.
Moore alleges that Roe had "accused numerous individuals
of raping her over the course of her life, including family
members. In fact, in the report produced by Lancaster
Children's Alliance, the Alliance noted that [Roe] had
made a number of similar, false accusations in the
past." (Id. ¶ 19.) He claims that
Roe's history of alleged false reports should have been
disclosed in Detective Sheppard and Officer Odenthal's
respective Affidavits of Probable Cause. (Id¶22.)
he avers that Detectives Sheppard and Quinn improperly showed
Roe a single photo of him with no other photos, unduly
prompting her to identify him as her rapist. (Id.
¶ 33.) He claims that they "told and/or inferred to
[Roe] that they identified the man in the photo as her rapist
and asked her to confirm such." (Id.)
Moore asserts that Officer Odenthal relied on Ephrata
Detective Sheppard's Affidavit of Probable Cause, which
was based on untrustworthy information, and acted with
deliberate indifference because he failed to conduct a
reasonable and independent investigation into the alleged
incident at the Marriott Hotel in Lancaster. (Id.
Moore claims that the Borough of Ephrata developed and
maintained policies, practices, procedures, and customs which
reflected "deliberate indifference to the Constitutional
rights of persons including the use of illegal photo
arrays" while Lancaster City did so by exhibiting
"deliberate indifference to the Constitutional rights of
persons including the use of third-hand ...