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Sep 11, 2013

False Stalking Allegations in Maine

Stalking charges are serious crimes, but in an effort to protect real victims, stalking laws can lead to false allegations by people with ulterior motives. For example, a woman in New York is fighting accusations of stalking because she believes the accuser (who is also a NY police officer) is only making these accusations to cover up his own crimes.

The case really begins in 2009 when Nancy Jackson entered a pizzeria as police were investigating suspicious activity. She allegedly made comments to police that they were wasting their time and one officer, John Dammacco, asked for her ID. When she admitted to not having it on her, she was arrested for disorderly conduct. The charges against her were later dropped and she requested to have officer Dammacco investigated for false arrest. Then in 2010, officer Dammacco was driving and spotted Ms. Jackson’s car behind him. He immediately called 911 and reported her for stalking him. Ms. Jackson was on her way to work at the time and claims she was the one who was harassed because she was doing nothing wrong. After years of litigation, the stalking charges were again dismissed and Ms. Jackson wants something to be done about officer Dammacco.

This case is very troubling for many reasons. The fact that a person you have had a past with is driving behind you on a public road should not be grounds for a stalking charge. A reasonable person should not believe that by this woman driving behind this male police officer in broad daylight was any sign that she intended on hurting him.

While it is very important to make sure real victims can easily prove their harassment, the criteria for stalking in Maine can often be too vague. The law states that the suspect must knowingly or intentionally act to threaten or harm the victim but in coincidences like these, it is nearly impossible to prove intention. More evidence should be gathered before someone is arrested in this type of situation.

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