I know this is long so here’s the short version: Narcissist woman out to get nice guy, nice guy has had enough and calls her 5 times (because she keeps hanging up) on Tuesday afternoon, guy is saying leave me alone. She files phone harassment, guy’s public defender thinks he can be found guilty because he called 5 times (guy recorded 4 calls, last answering message not recorded) and also at risk for extortion/harassment because he said he would report woman for bankruptcy fraud (he has proof of fraud, he had no intention of extorting anything nor does the audiotape of the call indicate any extortion is taking place).
Ok, here’s the long version:
My ex-friend Nancy is a narcissist and it got to the point where I could not stand her rude and self-centered behavior. I calmly said what she did was rude…since then, she thinks I’m evil and has tried to ruin both my life and my friends’ lives. (I had helped and sacrificed so much for that family out of sheer kindness)
I avoided her for a year but we would both attend local youth soccer games (something I had done for years). I later found out she was miffed by my attendance, although she never asked me to stop (her son was on a team). She called one of my friends and had them pass along a message: Tell Richard not to go to those games anymore, I don’t want him around me or my kids. I called Nancy, asked what her problem was. She hung up on my a few times, I called back (5 calls in total, all in one day, from 1pm to 2pm), and we continued the conversation where it left off. All calls were recorded, except the last call where I left a voicemail (I calmed down, called making a plea to resolve it peacefully, and dummy me doesn’t record that call). Nancy files phone harassment charges, in the complaint said I “called me several times threatening me because I asked him not to come around my kids.” Ironically on the tape I said “You can’t get a restraining order because I have never threatened you.” Never in my life have I threatened anyone and I have all but 1 of the calls (it was a voicemail I left) on tape proving I did not threaten her. I am 34 years old, have never been charged with a crime, not so much as a speeding ticket. After I was served, someone (I’m sure her) called a tutoring center where I volunteer saying I have a restraining order against me (which I don’t). (working on getting proof & suing for slander)
On the day of these calls, I (stupidly) left a message saying that I was going to report them for bankruptcy fraud (they foolishly told me about it at the time, I looked up public records and have proof they hid an asset). In fact, I had already reported them but never told them I had even planned to. I was just so mad at the time I chose to let them think I was going to report it (for the life of me I don’t know why I didn’t say “Last month I reported you.”)
This is the exact transcript of the message I left:
Bankruptcy case filed July 29th, 2009 Nancy and Bill. I just uh happened to notice you didn’t put your truck on here as one of your assets and you may have remembered telling me that in your living room saying that you were deliberately hiding your truck as an asset because you would lose it. That’s a federal offense, 5 years in prison, so I guess I am going to call up the FBI here, I got a. (I stopped mid-sentence, not a typo) If you don’t believe me you can look at your own paperwork but let’s see, Bill’s social security ending in xxxx, Nancy ending in xxxx, Erwin Savings and Loan checking account ending in xxxx. There’s that, um, stealing cable, television cable, you’ve had that without paying for it. That’s another federal offense.
Anyways, my public defender said that if this goes to trial he thinks it could be construed as extortion (felony) or a threat. I said, “But I wasn’t trying to force anything out of them,” he said, “Then why would you even tell them this, or why not just say I already reported you?”
As for the harassment…I said, “I never threatened them, she started the communication, and I was calling with a legitimate purpose (to get her to leave me alone).” His response was, “Well you did call 5 times and I spoke with Nancy here in court and she told me…(lots of lies about me, which my witness (Nancy’s cousin) will say is absolutely false). So they are going to try to make you look like you are obsessed with or stalking their children.” My attorney is 100% against going to trial and suggests a plea deal, hoping for just probation, small fine. I feel that I am the victim in this case and the last thing I want is to bow down, admit defeat, and let such a manipulative person get her way. On the other hand, if fighting this will put me in jail I obviously don’t want that!
So my questions are:
1. If I pursue my defense, am I at risk being charged with extortion?
2. Is the fact that I called 5 times (?considered offensively repetitious manner?) or that I said I would report them for bankruptcy fraud (?considered a malicious intent to frighten, intimidate or cause emotional distress?) enough to convict me of phone harassment? She hung up on me but never said “stop calling, don’t call anymore, I don’t want to talk to you, etc.
3. Since I have all but one of these conversations recorded, and Nancy has no recording of the calls, can Nancy be charged with filing a false complaint and/or aggravated perjury for saying I threatened her during the calls (the criminal complaint statement was made under oath)? Or would I need a recording of the final voice message to prove that?
4. Could she be convicted of civil rights intimidation? At one of the games she walked over to my side of the bleachers (she spoke to no one, no one she knew sat there, etc), stared up at me for 30 seconds, and then turned around stood there for 5 – 7 minutes until the game was over. (I have a portion of this on tape). She then walked to the exit. Upon leaving, I tried to look her in the face thinking she was going to start something but she was looking away. In one of the calls: NANCY Uh I want you to stay away from my kids and I want you to quit videotaping them. ME I’m videotaping the game. NANCY Now I, I can’t keep you from coming to the game but (her voice gets louder and angrier) I can keep you from videotaping my kids. I’ve done talked to the sheriff’s department (a deputy is at every game and I have videotaped it in front them, once just 2 feet from one, with no response). ME It’s a public game. I’m filming the game. I’m not filming your kids. NANCY You don’t have nothing better to do with your life than sit around and (F expletive deleted) videotape my kids then you are going to get a uh, um, uh, an order, restraining order against you.
Many thanks for your assistance in this extremely stressful matter!
For your reference, Tennessee Code:
39-17-308. Harassment … (a)(1) Places one or more telephone calls anonymously, or at an hour or hours known to be inconvenient to the victim, or in an offensively repetitious manner, or without a legitimate purpose of communication, and by this action knowingly annoys or alarms the recipient;
(A) Communicates with another person by any method described in subdivision (a)(1), without legitimate purpose: (i) With the malicious intent to frighten, intimidate or cause emotional distress; or (ii) In a manner the defendant knows, or reasonably should know, would frighten, intimidate or cause emotional distress to a similarly situated person of reasonable sensibilities; and (B) As the result of the communication, the person is frightened, intimidated or emotionally distressed.
39-16-703. Aggravated perjury – Makes a false statement, under oath; A person commits an offense who, with intent to deceive; (1) Commits perjury as defined in…39-16-702 defines perjury as: Makes a false statement, under oath); (2) The false statement is made during or in connection with an official proceeding; and (3) The false statement is material.
39-14-112. Extortion – (a) A person commits extortion who uses coercion upon another person with the intent to: (1) Obtain property, services, any advantage or immunity; or (2) Restrict unlawfully another’s freedom of action. (b) It is an affirmative defense to prosecution for extortion that the person reasonably claimed: (1) Appropriate restitution or appropriate indemnification for harm done; or (2) Appropriate compensation for property or lawful services.
39-17-309. Civil rights intimidation – (a) The general assembly finds and declares that it is the right of every person regardless of race, color, ancestry, religion or national origin, to be secure and protected from fear, intimidation, harassment and bodily injury caused by the activities of groups and individuals….A person commits the offense of intimidating others from exercising civil rights who…Injures or threatens to injure or coerces another person with the intent to unlawfully intimidate another from the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured by the constitution or laws of the United States or the constitution or laws of the state of Tennessee;