- Associated Press - Sunday, April 10, 2016

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - A Minnesota woman who spent four years in jail after she was accused of participating in a sex trafficking ring has filed a lawsuit against the city of St. Paul and a key police investigator.

In her federal lawsuit, 26-year-old Hamdi Ali Osman alleges St. Paul Sgt. Heather Weyker framed Osman as the “madam” in the sex ring of mostly Somali-American immigrants and refugees.

The original child sex-trafficking indictment in which 30 people were charged came in 2010. Last month, a federal judge reversed convictions for several people and the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the reversal after concluding that Weyker was repeatedly caught lying, and that the sex trafficking claims by two of the alleged victims were likely fictitious.

The U.S. attorney’s office in Nashville dismissed all pending cases against the remaining defendants last month. Osman was released from the county jail in Bowling Green, Kentucky, where she said she and other inmates spent 23 hours a day locked in their cells. She’d been there for four years and on home arrest for two years.

Osman’s lawsuit says Weyker’s actions deprived her of her freedom for six years. She’s also suing three unnamed supervisors who she said allowed Weyker to continue fabricating facts.



Public records do not list a phone number for Weyker.

The St. Paul Police Department does not comment on litigation, the St. Paul city attorney said he would not speak immediately about the lawsuit and the attorney for the St. Paul police union declined to comment, according to the Pioneer Press.

Osman is seeking $2 million for each year she was in pretrial detention - a total of $12 million.

St. Paul police began an internal affairs investigation into Weyker on March 3, the day after the court’s finding was filed, and they placed her on paid administrative leave. On March 9, Weyker returned to work and the department put the internal investigation on hold.

St. Paul police spokesman Steve Linders said officials are awaiting more information from federal agencies that led the case before taking any more action against Weyker.

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