A defendant has been sentenced to 20 months in federal prison after his role in stalking and harassing an R. Kelly victim and her mother. The man described himself as a manager and advisor for the beleaguered pop star and threatened the mother and her daughter after they filed a civil lawsuit against Kelly. The harassment appeared to be a means of keeping the victim silent on the matter and preventing the lawsuit from moving forward.
According to investigators, the defendant threatened to publicly release sexual photographs of the victim if she did not withdraw her lawsuit. The defendant allegedly sent the photos to the victim’s lawyer and the victim herself, stating that he “would seek criminal charges.” It is unclear what criminal charges he would seek or what criminal charges were available for him. He is now convicted of stalking.
The defendant is also accused of setting up a Facebook page called “Surviving Lies,” a play on the documentary “Surviving R. Kelly,” which was broadcast by Netflix and discussed the lives of the survivors. During a podcast interview, the defendant displayed sexually explicit images of the victim on screen.
What is Illegal?
Under Illinois law, the distribution of the image would be considered a felony since it was without the plaintiff’s consent. Issuing threats for the purpose of derailing a personal injury lawsuit is also illegal, similar to witness tampering. Repeated harassment would also be considered stalking under the law.
Dealing With Stalkers
Not all stalkers are of the same variety. Some latch on and don’t let go. Getting a protective order and filing charges is not as simple for victims as calling their nearest police station and explaining what happened. There must be documented incidences of abuse. Law enforcement will try to reassure you, but in the end, they may not be there when they are needed.
Often, those who have been targeted by stalkers end up having to run and hide until the stalker does something that is obviously illegal, like violate an order of protection. An increasing amount of pressure will be placed on the stalker by law enforcement, but in some cases, this will trigger a dangerous response where the stalker tries to kill the victim.
The biggest issue for victims is that they often try to hide the problem from their friends and loved ones. This ends up being a mistake. The more people who know about the stalker, the better off you are. It is important to disclose the situation to as many trusted individuals as possible.
In the worst-case scenarios, victims end up having to move out of their apartments and find a new place to live. They have to shut down their social media pages. They end up living in a perpetual state of vigilance.
Talk to a Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney Today
David Freidberg represents the interests of those who have been charged with serious crimes in Cook County. Call today at (312) 560-7100 to schedule an appointment, and we can begin preparing your defense immediately.