United States District Court, N.D. California, Oakland Division
ORDER DISMISSING IFP COMPLAINT AND DENYING AS MOOT
PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO ISSUE SUMMONS
SAUNDRA BROWN ARMSTRONG Senior United States District Judge
Rakesh Dhingra (“Dhingra”), proceeding pro se and
in forma pauperis (“IFP”), brings the instant
action against Defendant Eliina Belenkiy
(“Belenkiy”), formerly Eliina Keitelman. Pursuant
to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2), the Court hereby DISMISSES
the complaint without prejudice.
The Prior Criminal Action
2000, Dhingra, who was then 40 years old, contacted a minor
girl, Belenkiy, using the Internet-based America Online
instant messenger (“IM”) service. Over the course
of several days, Dhingra and the minor engaged in extensive
IM conversations that included sexual topics. Belenkiy stated
on multiple occasions that she was only 14 years old, and
Dhingra repeatedly acknowledged the minor's stated age.
and Belenkiy arranged to meet at a local community college on
July 10, 2000. During that in-person encounter, Dhingra
engaged in sexual activity with the minor in his automobile.
Belenkiy reported the incident to a teacher, and then, with
the teacher's urging, to local law enforcement officials.
Local law enforcement officials arrested Dhingra after
covertly arranging a second meeting between him and the
minor. On July 14, 2000, local law enforcement
officials contacted the Federal Bureau of Investigations
(“FBI”), including Agent Charles Esposito, to
further investigate the offense.
United States obtained an indictment against Dhingra for one
count of using the internet to solicit sexual activity from a
minor, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2422(b). Case No.
01-cr-40144-SBA, Dkt. 1 (hereafter, “Criminal
Action”). A jury found Dhingra guilty of that offense,
and the Court imposed a sentence of 24 months in custody and
three years of supervised release. Id., Dkt. 72, 86.
Upon Dhingra's appeal, the Ninth Circuit affirmed the
judgment. Id., Dkt. 115.
The Prior Civil Action
2016, Dhingra filed suit against the United States. Case No.
16-cv-03803-SBA (hereafter, “Prior Civil
Action”). In a single pleading, he brought both a civil
complaint for damages and a petition for writ of error coram
nobis. Pet. & Compl., Dkt. 1.
Prior Civil Action, Dhingra alleged that the “purported
minor” victim of his criminal offense-Belenkiy-was
actually an adult and an “undercover FBI
Agent/Informer.” Id. ¶ 8. He alleged that
FBI Agent Chuck Esposito “sent a baby faced
adult” to meet him on July 10, 2000, as part of a
“cyber squad operation . . . to catch persons who had
been actively looking for illegal sexual conduct with
minors.” Id. ¶¶ 5, 12. Dhingra
further alleged that the FBI changed this agent's
“identity to a minor under the witness protection
program in order to make a false arrest, falsely prosecute
and falsely convict and imprison [him].” Id.
¶ 13. According to Dhingra, the FBI also confiscated his
computer on the pretext of a lawful arrest; fabricated
evidence against him regarding this “fictitious
minor”; comitted perjury by presenting this fiction to
the jury at his trial; and “caus[ed] libel, slander,
and severe emotional distress” as a result of his false
prosecution and conviction. Id. ¶¶ 18, 22,
30-31, 36-37, 39.
on the foregoing, Dhingra alleged causes of action for: (1)
False Arrest and False Imprisonment on a Fictitious Federal
Indictment; (2) Conspiracy with Local Law Authorities for
False Arrest of Plaintiff on Fictitious Probable Cause; (3)
Unlawful Confiscation of Plaintiff's Personal Property;
(4) Deceit by Fabrication of Evidence in the Federal Court
and Lying to the Jury; (5) Fraud by Obstruction of Justice
and Perjury in a Federal Court; (6) Defamation, Libel and
Slander; and (7) Intentional Infliction of Emotional
Distress. Dhingra also moved to vacate his criminal
conviction by way of a petition for writ of error coram
nobis. He prayed for compensatory damages in excess of $35
million, punitive and exemplary damages, and an order
overturning his criminal conviction, among other things.
September 27, 2016, the Court issued an order dismissing the
Prior Civil Action and denying as moot Dhingra's
application to proceed IFP. Dkt. 6. On October 14, 2016,
Dhingra filed a motion for reconsideration, Dkt. 7, which the
Court promptly denied, Dkt. 8. On November 28, 2016, Dhingra
filed a notice of appeal. Dkt. 9. That appeal is pending
before the Ninth Circuit. Case No. 16-17198.
The Instant Action
November 28, 2016, Dhingra filed the instant action against
Belenkiy. Compl., Dkt. 1. Dhingra's allegations are
nearly identical to those set forth in the Prior Civil
Action. Specifically, Dhingra alleges that FBI Agent Chuck
Esposito was running a “cyber squad operation”
and “using FBI Agent/Informer . . . Eliina Belenkiy, an
adult with baby faced appearance as bait to catch person who
had been actively looking for illegal sexual contact with
minors.” Id. ¶ 5. Dhingra further alleges
that the “adult person pretending to be a minor . . .
had a changed identify under FBI witness protection program
claiming to be almost 15 years old as per FBI report . . .
.” Id. ¶ 10. According to Dhingra, the
FBI “changed [Belenkiy's] identity to a minor under
the witness protection program in order to make a false
arrest, falsely prosecute and falsely convict and imprison
[him].” Id. ¶ 13. Dhingra further alleges
that Belenkiy fabricated evidence against him regarding this