Real Housewives Of Salt Lake City’s Jen Shah Wants Judge To Dismiss Telemarketing Fraud Case, Claims She Couldn’t Read Miranda Rights Because Of ‘Dry’ Contacts
The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City star Jen Shah is asking a judge to dismiss a telemarketing fraud case against her.
As previously reported, in April Jen Shah pleaded not guilty to claims that she stole from several alleged victims in a telemarketing scam.
Now, she wants the case thrown out completely.
Her lawyers filed court documents that claimed she didn’t truly understand her Miranda rights.
She wrote in a declaration obtained by PEOPLE that she had “blurry vision” because of “dry” contact lenses she had in, so she “was unable to read” the waiver she signed while being told about her Miranda rights.
The declaration is included in her legal team’s motion for the case to get dismissed.
Jen Shah details her recollection of the arrest and claimed she was on her way to tape for the hit Bravo series when she got a call from an unidentified person. They claimed they were calling on behalf of her husband Sharrieff, and alleged he said she needs to get home right away. She called her husband immediately but got no answer and started to get concerned.
“Soon after, I received another phone call, this time from a 917 number. The caller explained that his name was Detective Christopher Bastos and that he was with the New York Police Department.”
She said she initially thought it was connected to a restraining order case she has in New York against an individual who stole from her and”physically assaulted” her in 2017.
She continued and said the detective didn’t tell her why he was calling but instead told her to pull over and he and a few other officers met her shortly after. She added,
“I was walked to the back of the car, placed in handcuffs, and told that they had a warrant for my arrest. I was at this point very confused and emotionally off-balance from the strange series of events, and thought I might have been the victim of a false identification.”
“I repeatedly asked Det. Bastos clarification questions, including ‘Am I under arrest?’ and ‘Am I going to jail?’ which were phrases I used interchangeably and thought of as the same thing.”
She said instead of answering her, the detective allegedly,
“repeatedly said words to the effect of, ‘We just want to talk to you’ and ‘I promise we just want to talk to you.’.”
She said his comments
“led me to believe I might be in danger, and that the police might be there to help me.”
She alleges she was transported to an ICE location where she was handcuffed to a chair and given printed Miranda rights to sign. Bastos also read them to her. Jen Shah said this is when things got crazier.
“Although I heard the words Det. Bastos read clearly, my contact lenses, which were in my eyes, were dry, and I did not have my reading glasses, so my vision was blurry and I was unable to read the paper in front of me. Even while being read my rights, I did not fully understand what was going on, and still thought that one explanation might be a potential misidentification.”
“I was eager to find out what was going on, what Det. Bastos ‘just wanted to talk to’ me about, and why he ‘wanted to make sure [I was] OK.’ Because I was not getting answers to my questions, I believed that the only way I was finally going to get an answer was to sign the paper and waive my rights.”
While she was told to put her initials on each point as Det. Bastos read them to her, she said she “could not see the paper” and even initialed in the wrong spot at one point. Det. Bastos re-read the statement to her to confirm she knew what it said.
“[n]ot until near the very end of the 1 hour, 20-minute interrogation … did Det. Bastos finally tell Ms. Shah the truth about what she was being charged with.”
“did not do so voluntarily, but rather as a direct result of law enforcement deception and trickery calculated to overpower her will.”