She eventually emailed NASA to find a buyer for what she called “rare Apollo 11 space artifacts” explaining how her late husband had received them.
Conley was assigned to the case, the Times reported. He had someone pose as a broker and call Davis. During several conversations, all but one recorded, Davis explained how she obtained the moon rock. She told the agent that she wanted the transaction to be legal.
After obtaining a warrant to search Davis and seize the moon rock, Conley arranged a meeting with her in 2011 at a Denny’s restaurant.
Davis, who was then 75, went to the restaurant with her husband, Paul Cilley, who was about 70, the court said. They had married in 1991.
Davis thought she was going to sell the paperweight and placed it on the table, the court said. Instead, one agent grabbed the paperweight and another detained Cilley, the Times reported.
The agents took the pair to the parking lot and Davis claimed they ignored her when she said she needed to use the restroom, the Times reported.
A federal prosecutor later declined to press charges and Davis sued. Conley contended that as a government agent he was immune from liability. A federal judge rejected that argument and Conley appealed, the Times reported.
“Conley had no law enforcement interest in detaining Davis for two hours while she stood wearing urine-soaked pants in a restaurant’s parking lot during the lunch rush,” Thomas wrote.
Davis’ lawsuit may now proceed.