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Minnesota man faces new charges in domestic violence case

Minnesota defines stalking as the criminal act of harassing, following, attempting to contact or watch a person intentionally and repeatedly. Stalking includes a person's obsessive behavior that leads to threatening with the intention of frightening the threatened person or causing bodily harm or death.

A Minnesota man, who is awaiting a re-trial for domestic abuse of his girlfriend, has allegedly violated an order for protection by calling her repeatedly. Not everyone realizes that calling can be a violation of an order for protection, but in fact it is in many cases.

The calls occurred while the man was in custody awaiting a re-trial after he had been convicted of a shocking series of assaults on his girlfriend. The calls violated a two-year protection order that included barring the man from any contact with the woman he assaulted.

The woman has filed a criminal complaint in Ramsey County District Court accusing the man of stalking. In addition to the menacing calls, the woman also received a threatening postcard written from prison, which accused her of lying in the first trial. The woman stated in the complaint that she felt intimidated by the phone calls and postcard and is frightened that the accused may somehow harm her from prison.

In Minnesota, violating a protection order is subject to criminal penalties. The complaint filed in court recently also accuses the man of stalking her from prison.

Under Minnesota law, in cases of stalking, no proof of specific intent is required. If convicted, the accused can face an additional sentence while he is awaiting trial for other crimes.

Source: Pioneer Press, "St. Paul abuse suspect stalked ex with postcard, phone call from prison, new charges say" Richard Chin, Oct. 18, 2012

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