This morning’s Concord Monitor has a truly appalling tale of a woman who has been harassed for years by a stalker. She’s gone to the police, obtained restraining orders, and eventually let him drive her from New Hampshire to North Carolina to escape this sick scumbag. But still he sends her letters and packages.
He’s currently in jail for repeatedly violating the restraining order, but he’s found a new tactic to keep in her face: he’s suing her for slander and libel. In his diseased mind, her telling the police about his stalking violated his rights.
And according to the story, he’s got an attorney to help him. He now offers to drop the case if his victim will pay him $1,000 in “damages.”
According to one expert quoted in the case, this is no great innovation. When a stalker is thwarted from his prey by most legal means, they will often find a way to use the court system to get “face time” with their victim.
The case right now is before federal Judge Steven McAuliffe, a former New Hampshire State Supreme Court justice (and husband of the late “teacher in space” Christa McAuliffe). Once again I’ll repeat I’m no lawyer, but I think I see a pretty simple solution to this:
1) In cases of libel and slander, truth is an absolute defense.
2) The fact that the stalker was convicted is proof that the claims the woman filed were true.
3) The case should be dismissed with prejudice.
4) The stalker should be fined and otherwise punished for wasting the court’s time and harassing his victim further. Then jailed and beaten with large, heavy objects.
5) The stalker’s lawyer who filed the suit should be disbarred, fined, jailed, and beaten with large, heavy objects.
6) The stalker and his lawyer should then be bound to those large, heavy objects and tossed into the deepest part of Lake Winnepesaukee.
7) The victim should be presented with every single asset owned by the stalker and his attorney, along with an elaborate apology from the state of New Hampshire for not taking such action sooner.
I’m willing to compromise, of course. Instead of Lake Winnepesaukee, I would settle for a smaller body of water. Or, perhaps, a sewage treatment tank.