Clackamas County woman jailed in case of mistaken identity

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by MIKE BENNER / KGW

NWCN.com

Posted on November 13, 2009 at 9:11 AM

A Clackamas County woman spent more than a day behind bars after authorities wrongfully arrested her for a crime she never committed.

  Kimberly Fossen, 30, is a mother of two and co-owner of Fuji’s Restaurant near the intersection of 122nd and Sunnyside. About five years ago, a woman by the name of Lien Huynh ripped off her identity and allegedly committed crimes nationwide. “She has warrants out for her arrest in Las Vegas for prostitution and in Florida for larceny,” said Samantha Dang, Fossen’s attorney.

In most of the cases, Huynh was released, but not before authorities fingerprinted her. She eventually made her way to New York, where Dang says she committed burglary and larceny. Detectives traced the DNA at the crime scene to the fake identity that Huynh had stolen -- the real Kimberly Fossen, who lives in Clackamas County. “When they were cuffing me it was the first time I had people looking at me and thinking they know what I'm about and they're judging me and I think that was the hardest part,” added Fossen.

It got even more humiliating when Fossen was led into court in shackles. Her parents, fiancé, and 9-year-old daughter watched from the courtroom. “My daughter's face was, oh my God, my Mom is crying and there's nothing you can do, you're helpless, nothing you say matters,” said Fossen.

Fossen spent 31 hours in jail before she got the news she was hoping for and knew the entire time; authorities had the wrong person. It was really Lien Huynh they were looking for. Fossen got to go home. “Even though I was home, every noise, are they coming back for me, it's a traumatizing ordeal,” added Fossen.

Fossen says it is an ordeal that can happen to anybody at anytime. “We do all the things we do everyday right so we don't have to go to jail and I wouldn't wish this on anybody because it's not fair, it's unfair,” she said.

Fossen’s attorney says Lien Huynh is still at large.

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