Actor sues LA County, Gascon for allegedly making false accusations – NBC Los Angeles

Actor Joseph Gatt sued LA County, DA George Gascón, a former prosecutor, and an LAPD detective Thursday, alleging that they failed to investigate a teenager’s claims before publicly announcing felony charges against him, only to quietly dismiss the case nearly two years later after a forensic examination showed the purported evidence had been fabricated, and no crime had taken place.

Gatt, who’s appeared in roles on Game of Thrones, Thor and True Detective, said in the case filed in U.S. District Court that the haphazard accusations that he had sent explicit messages to a teenage girl in another state, have effectively ended his acting career.

“This lawsuit arises from the shocking and intentional destruction of Joseph Gatt’s acting career and personal reputation by Los Angeles County law enforcement personnel that resulted from a thoroughly botched criminal investigation, entirely lacking any probable cause,” the complaint says.

The charges against Gatt were dismissed on Feb. 9, according to court records.

“It was determined that there were valid concerns regarding the sufficiency of the evidence,” said a spokesperson for the LA County District Attorney’s Office. “The charge was dismissed by the assigned prosecutor.”

The District Attorney’s Office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the allegations in the lawsuit.

Gatt is being represented in the case by attorney Dean Pamphilis, who recently won a $5 million settlement on behalf of an election software company owner who was charged by Gascón’s office with conspiracy and embezzlement in an alleged election interference scheme that purportedly involved China.

That case was dropped when it was revealed there was no evidence of law-breaking, and the allegations were based on conspiracy theories boosted by deniers of the outcome of the 2020 presidential election, according to that suit.

Gatt’s lawsuit echoes some of the same themes: Authorities rushed to make a high-publicity announcement without first thoroughly investigating the case.

“The arrest and charges against Mr. Gatt — for which he was branded by the Los Angeles DA and LAPD as a serial pedophile — were based on fabricated evidence,” Pamphilis said.

The LAPD announced in a press release on April 12, 2022 that Gatt had been arrested on charges of engaging in sexually explicit conversations with a minor across state lines (the press release remains online to this day), and the release asked that any other potential victims contact law enforcement.

According to Gatt’s lawsuit, forensic examinations of digital devices weren’t conducted until long after the press release and arrest, and once they were, it was clear someone, possibly the teenage girl at the center of the allegations, had fabricated allegedly incriminating screenshots.

“Twenty months later, when the fabricated evidence was finally disclosed to Mr. Gatt and Mr. Gatt’s forensic expert were prepared to expose the truth in open court, the Los Angeles DA voluntarily dismissed the criminal complaint,” Pamphilis said.

“Mr. Gatt, however, had already lost his community, his acting career and his personal reputation,” he said. “We look forward to recovering Mr. Gatt’s enormous losses in court.”

The LAPD, which generally does not comment on lawsuits, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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