SACRAMENTO – A man is seeking to have an arrest expunged from his record that was made after a fire in the Stanislaus National Forest Area, alleging he was coerced into confessing he started the fire.

Keith Matthew Emerald filed a complaint on Sept. 16 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California against Loretta Lynch, attorney general of the United States, seeking expungement of a record of criminal arrest.

According to the complaint, the plaintiff alleges that on August 17, 2013, he was accused of starting a forest fire in the Stanislaus National Forest Area although he claims he did not have upon his person any implements to ignite a fire. He alleges was coerced by the Forest Service investigators into confessing that he allegedly started the fire, but in return for his confession, he claims was promised not to be arrested and that said fire would be classified as an accident.

The suit states that he was still indicted on charges of arson and lying to federal officers, but on May 1, 2015, but charges were dismissed.

The plaintiff holds Loretta Lynch, attorney general of the United States, and Does 1-10 responsible because the Forest Services investigators acted through the defendants' authority.

The plaintiff requests a trial by jury and seeks for sealing or expungement of record of criminal arrest. He is represented by Terry D. Stark of Law Offices of Terry D. Stark in Oakdale.

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California Case number 1:16-at-00762

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U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California
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