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Malicious-prosecution suit against Joe Arpaio goes to trial

• yahoo.com by JACQUES BILLEAUD

The jury was told on the opening day of the civil trial that Austin Flake and his ex-wife Logan Brown still suffer emotional distress from the charges they faced when 21 dogs at a kennel operated by the younger Flake's in-laws died from heat exhaustion. The Flakes were watching the dogs while the in-laws were in Florida.

The lawsuit filed by the couple alleges Arpaio pursued charges against them to do political damage to the Republican senator from Arizona and gain publicity for himself. While jurors were told about Arpaio's efforts to publicize the case, the elder Flake was barely mentioned during opening Tuesday's opening statements.

Stephen Montoya, an attorney representing the younger Flake and his ex-wife, said there was no evidence showing his clients intended to hurt the dogs.

"It wasn't Austin's fault. It wasn't Logan's fault," Montoya said, adding that the criminal case contributed to the demise of the couple's marriage.

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