Why we oftentimes charge stalkers with burglary, when they don’t actually take anything.

On 04-19-18, I got a request for a consult by a newspaper reporter who had been following the trial of a stalker who had stalked a female off and on for over thirty years. The stalker was currently on trial for multiple counts of aggravated stalking. The reporter described the elements of the case in depth advising that she had never heard of a stalker doing any of the things that this individual had done. After she was done, I explained that one of the reasons I have always enjoyed investigating and consulting on stalking cases was because these individuals were just so weird, and I learn something new on every case I take on.

The reporter said that the stalker advised law enforcement when he was contacted and finally arrested that they needed to get a hold of the victim so that he could send her some of his sperm to produce a viable off-spring; even though she was married and had three healthy and reportedly happy children. The stalker was concerned that the victim was getting too old to produce a child. The reporter was amazed, when I explained this type of request in some form or another does transpire in other stalking consults I have conducted, more often than she would imagine.

Another thing she brought up that about a year or so before the stalker had been arrested he had once again found the victim and her family, and knocked on her front door demanding to talk to her. He was successfully turned away; reportedly not seen at the residence again. The victim and her family then decided to move to another location. As they were packing their property for the move, the victim found a receipt with the stalker’s name and signature on same placed in the bottom of one of her clothing drawers. Obviously, this caused the victim extreme fear and emotional distress. After she reported this information and turned over the item to the agency handling her case, a charge of burglary was added to the suspect’s stalking charges.

Why, one might ask, the stalker didn’t take anything that they were aware of. However, he did enter the victim’s residence without her permission, and in this case without her knowledge. In most states, burglary is defined in general as entering any four-walled structure with the intent to commit grand or petty theft or any other felony. The stalker entered the victim’s residence for the purposes of stalking, in this situation, a felony; therefore burglary applies.

Stalkers oftentimes will enter into a victim’s residence for a variety of reasons, primarily, to find out as much about the victim as possible. They may take items as trophies, to both generate their fantasy about the victim and in many cases cause her fear and emotional distress. Many will leave messages or other items that let’s the victim know they had violated their space. In this victim’s case a signed receipt. Others will damage property; especially items that mean something to the victim. This is why we file burglary charges on the stalker. Remember, the more felony charges we can attach to the stalker, the longer they stay incarcerated.

Just so you know, the stalker was convicted of three counts of aggravated stalking and is looking at a possible sentence of fifteen years.

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