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Case Number: 1:21-cr-00112
Judge: David C. Nye
Court: United States District Court for the District of Idaho (Ada County)
Plaintiff's Attorney: United States Attorney’s Office in Boise
Defendant's Attorney: Mike French
Description: Boise, Idaho criminal defense lawyer represented Defendant charged with interstate stalking.
Between October 7 and December 24, 2020, Joel Waters, age 44, traveled between Oregon and Idaho to harass and intimidate the victim who was residing in Boise. Waters took dogs from the victim’s home and car, slashed the tires on the victim’s vehicle, set fire to the victim’s residence in Oregon on two occasions, placed a tracking device on the victim’s vehicle, set fire to the victim’s vehicle, and sent the victim numerous harassing emails. Some of Waters’ acts occurred in violation of a civil protection order that the victim had obtained against Waters in Oregon.
U.S. Attorney Hurwit commended the cooperative efforts of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Boise Police Department, and the Oregon State Police, which led to the charge.
"The Interstate Anti-Stalking Punishment and Prevention Act of 1996 is a federal law that makes it a crime to stalk someone across state lines. The law defines stalking as engaging in a course of conduct that would cause a reasonable person to fear death or serious bodily injury to themselves or their immediate family. The conduct can include following, harassing, threatening, or contacting the victim.
The law also makes it a crime to cross state lines to violate a restraining order or other protection order that is designed to protect someone from stalking.
The Interstate Anti-Stalking Punishment and Prevention Act is a federal law, but it can also be enforced by state law enforcement agencies. If you are being stalked, it is important to report it to the police, regardless of whether the stalker has crossed state lines.
Here are some of the elements of the crime of interstate stalking under the Interstate Anti-Stalking Punishment and Prevention Act:
The stalker must travel across a state line.
The stalker must engage in a course of conduct that would cause a reasonable person to fear death or serious bodily injury to themselves or their immediate family.
The conduct can include following, harassing, threatening, or contacting the victim.
The stalker must have the intent to place the victim in fear.
The penalties for interstate stalking under the Interstate Anti-Stalking Punishment and Prevention Act vary depending on the circumstances of the case. However, the maximum penalty is five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
If you are being stalked, it is important to take steps to protect yourself. Here are some things you can do:
Get a restraining order. A restraining order can order the stalker to stay away from you and your family.
Report the stalking to the police. The police can investigate the stalking and take steps to protect you.
Change your routine. This can make it more difficult for the stalker to find you.
Get a security system. A security system can help to deter the stalker and make it easier to catch them if they do try to contact you.
Stay with friends or family. This can help to keep you safe from the stalker.
Talk to a therapist. A therapist can help you cope with the emotional stress of being stalked.
If you are being stalked, it is important to remember that you are not alone. There are resources available to help you. Please reach out for help if you need it."
Outcome: Defendant elected to plea guilty and and faces a minimum of one year and up to five years in federal prison, up to three years of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine.