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Ex and cops are good friends and are conspiring against me on a bogus charge Harassment, Stalking, Misconduct

Discussion in 'Criminal Charges' started by JW-2234, Oct 11, 2020.

  1. JW-2234

    JW-2234 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
    Pennsylvania
    I'm the father and the primary custodial parent of 2 minor children. My ex-wife moved 60 miles away 7 years ago, lost custody, and since then has been trying every stunt in the book to get primary custody. 4 trials, 3 master hearings over 7 years and the judge keeps denying her. My ex-wifes husband is very good friends with a few of the police in his small township (3-full time cops). The new stunt is to charge me with a M3 harassment charge. I don't and have never harassed and I have no arrest history. The ex and I don't verbally talk with each other and I save and keep all of my emails and texts with her. They are all normal parents stuff.. pick up the kids at 2:00.. ect. I have proof that no harassment had occurred through all of our communications.

    The charge was written in the small township where she lives and where the husbands police friends work. The charge was submitted with out ever contacting me, I found out by receiving all these lawyer fliers in the mail (arrests and addresses are public records).

    1. is it a normal procedure for police not to communicate with both parties to get both sides of the story before a criminal charge is filed? I wasn't alerted, notified, or anything about this matter from anyone at any time. I found out by logging on to PA Docket Search.

    2. at a hearing at a magistrate, does the plaintiff have to produce evidence?

    I feel that my ex-wife and her husband are conspiring with their cop friends to charge me with a bogus harassment charge to try to get a foot hold on another round of custody, (its something that has no factor but thats all shes got). Its the only thing I can think of because I'm getting the run around trying to ask questions about the charge from the officer that wrote the charge.

    is this something that the ACLU, county DA, or any news outlets might be interested in? I'm going to get a lawyer to fight this but thought I would throw it out on a forum to see if anyone has any input.

    Any help would be appreciated.
     
  2. justblue

    justblue Well-Known Member

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    Have you hired/consulted with a criminal defense attorney? Do you know what statute you are being charged under?

    I'll tag a few of the attorney's that volunteers here to assist you. @army judge @Tax Counsel @zddoodah

    Here is the link for the PA Bar Assoc. If you haven't hired an attorney you should do so right away.
     
  3. JW-2234

    JW-2234 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    My attorney I have used for custody for the past 7 years is going to help but I wanted to get other inputs as she does not specialize in criminal.

    Not sure what statute is but from the docket sheet on PA dock search it says:

    Charge: #1 18 2709 A4
    Grade: M3
    Description: Harassment
     
  4. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    This is very simple.

    You need to do a few things to make this scam harder to pull off in the future.
    As of this moment, DON'T discuss ANY aspect of the case, charges, your actions, or even offer your opinion about this to ANYONE but the lawyer you hire.

    When you appear in court initially, all you need to do is KEEP YOUR YAPPER SHUT, and simply "PLEAD NOT GUILTY" to all charges.

    DON'T try to defend or explain yourself, that comes later, if your lawyer so advises.

    Forget plaintiff vs. defendant, as that applies in CIVIL trials.

    This appears to be a CRIMINAL matter.
    The People of the State of PA vs YOU (the accused or the criminal defendant).

    If you can't afford a lawyer, you can ask the state to appoint a PUBLIC DEFENDER to represent you, IF YOU OTHERWISE QUALIFY.

    The qualifications will be given to you in writing, or you can research them online.

    If you will HIRE a lawyer, you can forget a public defender.

    There is nothing more you need to explain, say, comment on, except from this point forward HIRE a criminal defense lawyer, or wait to see if the state will appoint one after qualifying for same.

    Now is the time you make sure you SHUT YOUR YAPPER.

    In fact, during the pendency of the trial you might want to skip your visitations with your children.

    WHY?

    No need to allow yourself to assist in throwing more coal oil or kerosene on the smoldering coals of a possible major conflagration.

    This NOT the time to be curious, ask questions, save all that for yoru lawyer.

    When this gets sorted by your acquittal, or the prosecutor tossing the charges, you want to arrange to pick up and drop off the children at police station or sheriff's office lobby.

    You also want to use ONLY certain APPS that protect you both from scurrilous charges, apps such as listed below:

    There are several different parenting apps that are available.
    Some require a fee and others are free. These include:

    OurFamilyWizard: Tools for Conflict Free Co-Parenting | OurFamilyWizard

    AppClose: AppClose - The Best Co-Parenting App

    Talking Parents: TalkingParents | Co-Parenting Communication Tools


    I recommend that you try out the different parenting app options and find the one that works best for you.

    You can also discuss this with yoru current family law attorney, and have her arrange one going forward.
    I am sure that you will find that this tool will be a big help in managing your custody arrangement.


    ==================================

    Here is the PA statute that you ALLEGEDLY violated:

    § 2709. Harassment.

    (a) Offense defined.--A person commits the crime of harassment when, with intent to harass, annoy or alarm another, the person:

    (1) strikes, shoves, kicks or otherwise subjects the other person to physical contact, or attempts or threatens to do the same;

    (2) follows the other person in or about a public place or places;

    (3) engages in a course of conduct or repeatedly commits acts which serve no legitimate purpose;

    (4) communicates to or about such other person any lewd, lascivious, threatening or obscene words, language, drawings or caricatures;

    (5) communicates repeatedly in an anonymous manner;

    (6) communicates repeatedly at extremely inconvenient hours; or

    (7) communicates repeatedly in a manner other than specified in paragraphs (4), (5) and (6).

    (a.1) Cyber harassment of a child.--

    (1) A person commits the crime of cyber harassment of a child if, with intent to harass, annoy or alarm, the person engages in a continuing course of conduct of making any of the following by electronic means directly to a child or by publication through an electronic social media service:

    (i) seriously disparaging statement or opinion about the child's physical characteristics, sexuality, sexual activity or mental or physical health or condition; or

    (ii) threat to inflict harm.

    (2) (i) If a juvenile is charged with a violation of paragraph (1), the judicial authority with jurisdiction over the violation shall give first consideration to referring the juvenile charged with the violation to a diversionary program under Pa.R.J.C.P. No. 312 (relating to Informal Adjustment) or No. 370 (relating to Consent Decree). As part of the diversionary program, the judicial authority may order the juvenile to participate in an educational program which includes the legal and nonlegal consequences of cyber harassment.

    (ii) If the person successfully completes the diversionary program, the juvenile's records of the charge of violating paragraph (1) shall be expunged as provided for under section 9123 (relating to juvenile records).

    (b) Stalking.--(Deleted by amendment).

    (b.1) Venue.--

    (1) An offense committed under this section may be deemed to have been committed at either the place at which the communication or communications were made or at the place where the communication or communications were received.

    (2) Acts indicating a course of conduct which occur in more than one jurisdiction may be used by any other jurisdiction in which an act occurred as evidence of a continuing pattern of conduct or a course of conduct.

    (3) In addition to paragraphs (1) and (2), an offense under subsection (a.1) may be deemed to have been committed at the place where the child who is the subject of the communication resides.

    (c) Grading.--

    (1) Except as provided under paragraph (3), an offense under subsection (a)(1), (2) or (3) shall constitute a summary offense.

    (2) An offense under subsection (a)(4), (5), (6) or (7) or (a.1) shall constitute a misdemeanor of the third degree.

    (3) The grading of an offense under subsection (a)(1), (2) or (3) shall be enhanced one degree if the person has previously violated an order issued under 23 Pa.C.S. § 6108 (relating to relief) involving the same victim, family or household member.

    (d) False reports.--A person who knowingly gives false information to any law enforcement officer with the intent to implicate another under this section commits an offense under section 4906 (relating to false reports to law enforcement authorities).

    (e) Application of section.--This section shall not apply to constitutionally protected activity.

    (e.1) Course of conduct.--(Deleted by amendment).

    (f) Definitions.--As used in this section, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings given to them in this subsection:

    "Communicates." Conveys a message without intent of legitimate communication or address by oral, nonverbal, written or electronic means, including telephone, electronic mail, Internet, facsimile, telex, wireless communication or similar transmission.

    "Course of conduct." A pattern of actions composed of more than one act over a period of time, however short, evidencing a continuity of conduct. The term includes lewd, lascivious, threatening or obscene words, language, drawings, caricatures or actions, either in person or anonymously. Acts indicating a course of conduct which occur in more than one jurisdiction may be used by any other jurisdiction in which an act occurred as evidence of a continuing pattern of conduct or a course of conduct.

    "Emotional distress." A temporary or permanent state of mental anguish.

    "Family or household member." Spouses or persons who have been spouses, persons living as spouses or who lived as spouses, parents and children, other persons related by consanguinity or affinity, current or former sexual or intimate partners or persons who share biological parenthood.

    "Seriously disparaging statement or opinion." A statement or opinion which is intended to and under the circumstances is reasonably likely to cause substantial emotional distress to a child of the victim's age and which produces some physical manifestation of the distress.



    (June 23, 1993, P.L.124, No.28, eff. imd.; Oct. 2, 1997, P.L.379, No.44, eff. 60 days; Dec. 15, 1999, P.L.915, No.59, eff. 60 days; Dec. 9, 2002, P.L.1759, No.218, eff. 60 days; Nov. 27, 2013, P.L.1061, No.91, eff. 60 days; July 10, 2015, P.L.140, No.26, eff. 60 days; Nov. 4, 2015, P.L.224, No.59, eff. 60 days)



    2015 Amendments. Act 26 amended subsecs. (c)(2) and (f) and added subsecs. (a.1) and (b.1)(3) and Act 59 amended subsec. (e). See the preamble to Act 59 of 2015 in the appendix to this title for special provisions relating to legislative intent.

    2013 Amendment. Act 91 amended subsec. (c) and added the def. of "family or household member" in subsec. (f).

    2002 Amendment. See sections 9 and 10 of Act 218 in the appendix to this title for special provisions relating to references to section 2709 and references to section 5504.

    Cross References. Section 2709 is referred to in sections 4954, 4955, 5708 of this title; section 3304 of Title 5 (Athletics and Sports); sections 6108, 6711 of Title 23 (Domestic Relations); sections 3573, 62A03 of Title 42 (Judiciary and Judicial Procedure); section 6138 of Title 61 (Prisons and Parole).

    The link to the statute:

    Section 2709 - Title 18 - CRIMES AND OFFENSES
     
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  5. justblue

    justblue Well-Known Member

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    With no disrespect intended toward your family law attorney ...you need a criminal law attorney. Family Law and Criminal Law are two different animals. Call the state bar and ask for several referrals ...You can run their names by your FL attorney and see who she would recommend by reputation. I do wish you the best of luck...I have a particular disgust of parents that play these kind of games over custody.

    When the situation is resolved it would be nice if you could up-date us here and at the other site you posted on. :)
     
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  6. Michael Wechsler

    Michael Wechsler Administrator Staff Member

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    Very sorry to hear about your troubles. Recently I've heard some awful custody claims as well and these types of games disgust me. In addition to the good advice above regarding retaining a criminal law attorney, I'll say this much about your wanting to go to the news. It is understandable to present an expose of fraud to end this horrible ordeal more quickly. But at present it's likely not going to work and you may have a better option later.

    The news media typically prefer cases where a wrongdoing is easy to determine . They don't want to invest substantial amounts of time to investigate an issue and play the part of judge and jury, potentially also leaving themselves open to legal liability.

    I haven't heard the alleged details which supposedly justify charging you. These details are best shared ONLY with your criminal law attorney. Perhaps there was something ambiguous on camera or a text message which you thought was harmless but is now being contorted into something that is out of context. We simply don't know. Having proof of your communications can certainly bolster your case that these charges are bogus. Without those details, a clear claim of police abuse has not yet been made. If you have a succesful hearing you may also have more leverage to file a complaint againt the police officers with the appropriate authority and finding an attorney who will take your case to sue them based upon findings of fact. Best of luck to you.
     
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  7. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    You do not have to prove harassment did not occur. It is the prosecutorsl's job to prove that it did occur. If the prosecutor feels there is not enough evidence to proceed then the matter may be dropped without you ever having to do anything.

    If you have only communicated by email then it is likely those emails that would be used against you. So long as they do not contain threats and you have not unreasonably sent a bazillion emails then you likely have nothing to worry about.

    You said you have never been contacted about this. Personally, I wouldn't work much until someone finally does contact you.

    Perhaps your attorney can look in to it and determine if the District Attorney has actually filed a charge, or if the police department simply submitted a report.
     

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