Thursday, October 13, 2005

Hate Mail or Criminal Harassment? Part II

So were there any legal consequences for for his barrage of personalized hate mail and threats? Article 8 email alert tells what the Massachusetts Attorney General's office did about it (... nothing!). This was after the A-G attorney explained that just three personalized harassing communications would trigger "criminal harassment" charges. From Article 8 Alliance email alert, 10-12-05:

Hate crimes protection? It's a one-way street in Massachusetts. Attorney General brushes aside threats by homosexual activist.

Recently there's been a lot of talk about "hate crimes" legislation. We can tell you from experience what that's all about -- and it's NOT about protecting you.

Several months back, a homosexual activist happened to get the office email address of a female volunteer working at the Article 8 office. He also went to the trouble to find out where she lived, her family, etc. What followed was a long series of horrible, personally threatening emails. This person, who identified himself as a homosexual activist who also works for the government, threatened to go to her house, threatened her children, and said he would do to her what some people had done to abortion doctors (implying that he would shoot her).

All we had about this person was his email address: We couldn't find anything else.

See the emails posted on the MassResistance blog.

We went to the police, who said to go to the Massachusetts Attorney General. Denise Barton, a staff attorney who runs their "computer crimes" division at the Attorney General's office, at first acknowledged that this is clearly a criminal act. But when she realized who WE were, and that the perpetrator was a gay activist, Barton became very difficult and condescending.

This is how your Attorney General, Tom Reilly, operates when the criminal is a gay activist. It shouldn't surprise you, since one of Reilly's top staff members, Assistant Attorney General Robert Quinan, is very active in the Mass. Lesbian and Gay Bar Association, co-wrote a paper on "gay students' rights", and was recently featured in the newspaper for marrying. . .another man!

With tremendous difficulty, we finally got Barton to subpoena AOL and get the name and address of this person. (AOL protects harassers, unless you get a subpoena. They're actually proud of that.) We thought we were on the way to justice. But Barton would still not cooperate with the victim at all. No charges were filed, and she would not divulge the man's identity so our volunteer could get a civil restraining order. Barton said the man was simply "exercising his free speech rights." Instead, Barton told us she had a state trooper "visit" him and "warn" him. But that "warning" certainly didn't stop this guy's venom; in fact it got worse.

And our volunteer was -- and is -- still living in fear, while this person continues to taunt her via the Internet. Luckily, our volunteer is not letting this stop her work, which she considers too valuable to be stopped by intimidation.

By the way, if you ever need help, the Massachusetts Attorney General's office is at 617-727-2200. On the other hand, don't bother.

This is the same Tom Reilly who wants to be your next Governor. If that happens, the horror show will really start.