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WA Woman Plans Wedding to Man Without His Consent

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By Stephanie Rabiner, Esq. on March 12, 2012 9:03 AM

Madeline Desmet is either desperate or severely deranged. When a man rejected her romantic overtures, the 64-year-old started following him around. It got so bad, the man obtained a restraining order. It went ignored.

In December 2011, the man received a strange call from the Seattle Municipal Court. Soon after, an employee from Jared Jewelry called and asked how he planned to pay for a wedding ring Desmet had picked out.

Unbeknownst to him, she had made plans for them to be married by a judge.

Seattle Police arrested Madeline Desmet in February, and she has just been charged with felony stalking. She's already been convicted of stalking once before.

During a preliminary hearing, officers testified about the man's fear. He thinks she has severe mental health issues and is afraid she will turn violent, according to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. She told the paper that the entire thing is "a bunch of bunk."

It may be, but Desmet did send the man 57 letters despite admitting that she had received a copy of the protective order. That alone should be enough to violate Washington's stalking law.

The stalking statute makes it a crime to intentionally and repeatedly harass or follow another person if:

  1. The person being harassed is placed in reasonable fear of harm; and
  2. The stalker knows or reasonably should know the person is afraid, intimidated or harassed.

It's hard to construe 57 letters as anything but intentional harassment when sent to the object of a protective order. And since Desmet admitted to knowing about that order, she can't claim she didn't know the man was afraid or felt harassed.

For this behavior, Madeline Desmet now faces up to five years in jail and/or a fine of up to $10,000.

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