At what point do a series of written love messages sent as emails to another person cross the line and become stalking or harassment? When does a letter writer who has only romance in her heart end up being arrested and in need of a criminal defense attorney? This has happened a second time now to a Georgia woman in Clayton County who apparently has a penchant for writing love letters to the local sheriff of that county.
Authorities arrested the woman recently on charges of criminal harassment for sending a constant flow of such expressions of affection to the Sheriff. The press coverage of the incident does not reflect if she knows the sheriff personally. It is reported, however, that this is the woman's second offense for the same criminal charge.
Officials arrested her once before for sending what they refer to as harassing emails to the sheriff. Although the details are not specified in the press report, it is intimated that the arrest was supported by the sheer volume of emails that she sent. She reportedly sent him emails that largely referred to classic R&B songs. There is no indication, however, that she expressed threats or ill feelings in the missives.
She is reportedly being held in the local jail pending due process under the Georgia criminal law. Her criminal defense attorney will likely stress the lack of criminal intent or "mens rea" by the accused. The case illustrates that sometimes even good thoughts may cross the line when they are conveyed over and over again to the same unreceptive person. As officials expressed it, her emails about love were sent "day and night." When the receiving individual is not interested in receiving such messages from the sender, a constant barrage can be upsetting and annoying to a reasonable person on the receiving end.