Thursday, December 29, 2016
OFF THE WIRE
Tommy “Gipsy” Quinn, a star of a “reality “ television show named The Devils Ride which ran on the Discovery Channel from May 8, 2012 until March 10, 2014 has won a legal victory in his attempt to vindicate himself of charges that he molested his ex-wife’s eight and 10-year-old daughters from a previous marriage.
In a video recorded interview with a forensic child psychologist employed by child welfare services, one of the two girls graphically reported being molested by Quinn. Quinn later described the girl’s demeanor during the interview as “bizarre” and “rehearsed.” Quinn was arrested on August 28, 2012 while visiting Carla Sottile, the girls’ mother and Quinn’s then wife at Sharp Grossmont Hospital in La Mesa, California.
The television show, produced by Bischoff Hervey Entertainment Television, LLC about a San Diego motorcycle club named the Laffing Devils, was promoted as: “Life inside one of Southern California’s biggest motorcycle clubs doesn’t come easy…but it’s sure intriguing. For the first time ever, The Laffing Devils allows a never-before-seen look into the gritty world of motorcycle clubs.”
The Laffing Devils was a real motorcycle club and Quinn was one of its founders. The club disbanded during the first of the show’s three seasons. During the run of the show, Carla Sottile was a San Diego police officer. The network listed Quinn’s profession as “bounty hunter.”
The initial accusation that Quinn had molested the girls was made by Christopher and Carie Keller. Christopher Keller is the girls’ father and Carla Sottile’s first husband. At the time Keller accused Quinn of molesting the girls, Keller and Sottile were engaged in a longstanding dispute in family court over custody of the girls.
After he made bail, Quinn hired a lawyer named Richard Berkon who showed police evidence that indicated Quinn was incapable of the crimes. According to Berkon, Quinn suffered from erectile dysfunction and retrograde ejaculation at the time of the alleged molestation and was suffering from a service related back injury that made him unable to lift more than ten pounds. The charges against Quinn were dropped.
Quinn believes the accusation of child molestation shamed him and caused him to lose his job as the “star” of a television show. After the incident, Carla Sottile also divorced him. And according to the The San Diego Union-Tribune, Quinn is “now working odd jobs.”
Quinn filed suit against the Kellers in August 2014. In general in California, a “person reporting a known or suspected instance of child abuse or neglect shall not incur civil or criminal liability as a result of any report authorized by this article unless it can be proven that a false report was made and the person knew that the report was false or was made with reckless disregard of the truth or falsity of the report, and any person who makes a report of child abuse or neglect known to be false or with reckless disregard of the truth or falsity of the report is liable for any damages caused.” Quinn thinks he can prove the Kellers “recklessly” accused him.
The Kellers were served with Quinn’s complaint in March 2015. In August of that year, they moved that Quinn’s suit should be dismissed. A trial court first granted then denied their motion, eventually ruling that Quinn could probably prove that the Kellers “had coached” the two girls “to falsely accuse Quinn of sexual abuse.”
The Kellers appealed that ruling. Yesterday, the California Fourth Appellate District Court of Appeal ruled that Quinn could proceed with his lawsuit.