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‘Dumbo’ Star Files Massive Lawsuit Against Police Over Pedophilia Arrest

Joseph Gatt LAPD lawsuit arrest
Credit: Disney

WARNING: The following article mentions and/or discusses topics that may be distressing for certain audiences. Viewer discretion is advised. 

In today’s world, there is almost nothing that doesn’t involve some level of technology. Tech has become the way we create new things, communicate with each other, and even how many of us do our jobs.

There are so many amazing things that are only possible because of the advances made in technology. However, as always, there is a dark side to technology. A side that people use to exploit and manipulate people, and even create entirely false narratives that look very real.

guests looking down at their phone and smiling, castle in the background

Credit: Disney

Related: Disney Needs to Admit Its MAJOR Tech Problem

And that dark side of technology reportedly led to the very public arrest of Dumbo (2019) and Game of Thrones star, Joseph Gatt, in April 2022.

At the time of his arrest, the Los Angeles Police Department’s Juvenile Division, Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force announced that Gatt was being charged with “sexually explicit communication” he allegedly had with a minor child across state lines.

The police said that an arrest warrant was issued after a thorough investigation was conducted.

Joseph Gatt

Credit: Disney

However, it does not look like the investigation was as thorough as the LAPD claimed. Gatt has filed a massive lawsuit against the LAPD, the city of Los Angeles, and LA District Attorney, George Gascón, for everything he went through.

According to reports, Gatt is claiming that the department labeled him a “serial pedophile” when he had done nothing wrong. He further claims that the LA Deputy District Attorney, Angela Brunson, had “personal bias and animosity” against him. He said that the arrest ruined his career and his reputation.

Joseph Gatt Dumbo

Credit: Disney

The lawsuit, in part, reads:

Defendants [LAPD, District Attorney’s Office], using threats, intimidation and coercion, and with no cause, let alone probable cause, subjected Gatt—a successful actor with numerous film and television series credits, including Game of Thrones and Banshee, among many others—to an utterly baseless arrest, unlawful detention, unlawful search and seizure of property, and malicious prosecution in which Gatt was alleged to have electronically communicated with a minor in a sexually explicit manner. Defendants’ conduct was purportedly based solely on the uncorroborated word of a then-16-year-old, admittedly obsessed fan of Gatt—who will be referred to throughout this Complaint as “Jane Doe” to preserve her privacy because she was a minor at the time and is not a party to this action—whom Gatt did not know and has never actually met, and whom Defendants did not even bother to interview or even remotely assess for credibility until almost one year after Defendants arrested Gatt, charged him with baseless crimes, and publicly branded him as a serial pedophile.

The abuses in question were the product of a culture of tolerance within the LA DA and/or LAPD. This culture is rooted in the deliberate indifference of high-ranking LA County and/or City of Los Angeles officials, including without limitation Defendants Gascón, Brunson, and Amarantos and any other high-ranking official, individually or acting in concert with one another, to the widespread misconduct on the part of the LA DA and/or LAPD employees, investigators, and consultants in recklessly engaging in unlawful arrests, searches, seizures, and criminal prosecutions.

Joseph Gatt El Capitain Dumbo

Credit: El Capitan Twitter

Gatt’s lawyers released a statement to Entertainment Weekly upon filing the lawsuit:

“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,” Dean Z. Pamphilis, a partner with Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP, said in a statement provided to EW.

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

Live-action Dumbo

Credit: Disney

Gatt’s attorneys claim that the charges against him were made by an “obsessed fan”. Further, it is alleged that the LAPD failed to interview the teenager and determine whether she was a credible person until more than a year after Gatt’s arrest. The Star Wars voice actor also says that he never even met the fan who made accusations against him.

Gatt’s lawsuit — which is for $40 million — comes six weeks after the charges against him were thrown out “with prejudice.” That means that the case cannot be brought back into the courts in the future. Neither the LAPD nor the District Attorney’s office commented on the lawsuit, as they do not comment on pending litigation.

Do you support Joseph Gatt’s lawsuit against the LAPD and the District Attorney’s Office? Let us know in the comments!

About Krysten Swensen

A born and bred New England girl living the Disney life in Southern California. I love to read, to watch The Golden Girls, and love everything to do with Disney and Universal. I also love to share daily doses of Disney on my Disney Instagram @BrazzleDazzleDisney!

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