A Phoenix, Arizona woman is facing a broad array of charges after sending over 65,000 text messages to a man she met on a dating site. The texts, which numbered in the hundreds each day, often contained strange or threatening language.
The 31-year-old woman, Jacqueline Ades, was charged on May 8 with stalking, harassment, and failure to appear in court. According to law enforcement officials, the texting began in the summer of 2017 when Ades and the man went on a date after connecting on a dating app. It was only after the first date that Ades became infatuated with the man. The texting began immediately after the date and continued until Ades' arrest nearly a year later. While the text messages were benign in the beginning, they began to take a dark turn after it was clear the man wasn't interested. The texts included some threats that were violent, including, “Oh, what I would do w/your blood … I'd wanna bathe in it,” and “Don't ever try to leave me…I'll kill you…I don't wanna be a murderer!”
In a jailhouse interview after her arrest, Ades acknowledged sending the texts and professed surprise that she had only sent 65,000. When asked for her rationale, she declared: “Love is an excessive thing.”
Beyond the blaring headlines mocking the over-the-top number of texts, this was an escalating situation. Ades' efforts became much more aggressive in recent months including a day that she showed up at the man's place of work pretending to be his spouse. The final straw that led to her arrest was an incident where she allegedly broke into the man's home and took a bath in his tub. It was after the break-in that the man finally filed charges with local law enforcement.
Stalking in Washington State
In Washington, both stalking and harassment can be either gross misdemeanors or felonies. While the crimes are similar, there are enough differences between the two to require separate statutes. Under Washington law, a person has committed stalking if:
- He or she intentionally harasses or follows someone on more than one occasion,
- The victim had a reasonable fear that the defendant would harm them or their property, and
- The defendant knew or should have known this behavior would create fear or intimidation.
Typically a stalking case centers on whether there was “reasonable fear” created in the situation. In other words, if a defendant otherwise met the other elements of stalking but it was unreasonable to believe the alleged victim was fearful, then no crime has been committed. As the 65,000-text-messages case shows us, stalking accusations can often be highly visible. To curtail an issue that resonates with constituents, some prosecutors are too quick to file charges on a stalking case that centers around a misunderstanding or a false accuser. If you have been charged with stalking, an attorney with experience in criminal defense law may be able to help you prepare your defense. If you have been charged in Seattle, Washington contact the Law Offices of Steve Karimi to set up your free consultation.