Bellevue, WA – A woman who falsely accused at least three different members of the Bellevue Police Department of sexual misconduct earlier this year has been charged with malicious prosecution.
Idunn Schneider, 45, said she became involved with the Bellevue police chief and at least two other Bellevue police officers after she said she met them online, KIRO reported.
Schneider first met Bellevue Officer John Kivlin on Craigslist, and the two carried on a consensual relationship from September of 2017 until April, when she accused her police officer boyfriend of having punched her in the face twice.
Both Schneider and Kivlin were married to other people at the time of the affair, the Seattle Times reported.
In July, Schneider claimed that Kivlin had been trying to force her to recant her story, and so police arrested him on assault and witness tampering charges.
Prosecutors eventually dismissed those charges against Kivlin after a thorough forensic investigation of his phone proved his accuser had lied.
By then, Kivlin had lost his job, his wife, and his house, and spent 49 days in jail for crimes Schneider fabricated.
“The toll has just been devastating,” Kivlin’s attorney, Jeffrey Cohen, told the Seattle Times.
Bothell police investigated the accusations against Chief Steve Mylett and determined they, too, were completely unfounded.
But not before the chief was placed on paid leave for the duration of the investigation, and his family and police department suffered extreme embarrassment.
Schneider claimed to have met Chief Mylett on a fetish website, and said he raped her in his Bothell rental home in October of 2016, the Seattle Times reported.
But the DNA recovered from Schneider’s clothing from the alleged rape did not match the police chief, and he was not living in that rental home on the date of the alleged attack, so Bothell police eventually cleared him completely.
Chief Mylett got dragged into the accusations because a text exchange between the woman and Kivlin, the woman accused his "boss boss," even though she didn't appear to know his name. There is no evidence that they had ever met.
Chief Mylett was reinstated to his position and told reporters that the accusations had taken a toll on his family.
Although the third Bellevue officer falsely accused by Schneider was never charged, he resigned from the police department under a dark cloud of false allegations.
During the investigation, police learned that Schneider had made false rape allegations on two previous occasions, and that no charges had been pressed against her on those occasions because of her mental state, the Seattle Times reporter.
“Additional facts surfaced in this and other investigations that severely called into question the credibility of Ms. Schneider,” King County Sheriff’s Detective Christy Marsalisi wrote in the charging affidavit. “The facts include that on two occasions in 2008 and 2009, Ms. Schneider reported to authorities that she’d been the victim of rape. She later admitted that in both instances the allegations were fabrications.”
Prosecutors charged Schneider on Tuesday with two counts each of felony malicious prosecution and misdemeanor tampering with physical evidence, the Seattle Times reported.
Court documents said Schneider “fabricated evidence and used a sophisticated ruse to deceive Kivlin, law enforcement, prosecutors, and the court in order to have Kivlin taken into custody and charged with additional crimes,” according to KIRO.
“The result of the (accuser’s) fabrication was that law enforcement arrested Kivlin for crimes he did not commit, prosecutors filed charges against Kivlin for crimes he did not commit, and the court held Kivlin in custody for order violations which he did not commit,” the documents said.
A summons was issued and Schneider is due in court for arraignment on Dec. 31.