Monday, May 19, 2003
Court of Appeal Panel Upholds Injunction Against Officer Accused of Trying to Rape Boyfriend
By a MetNews Staff Writer
An anti-harassment injunction directed at a Los Angeles police officer accused of trying to rape his boyfriend, a Marine, was upheld Friday by this district’s Court of Appeal.
Presiding Justice Joan Dempsey Klein, writing for the Court of Appeal’s Div. Three, said the petitioner presented sufficient evidence to support an injunction under Code of Civil Procedure Sec. 572.
The police officer, identified only as R.D., was enjoined by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge John P. Shook from having any contact with the plaintiff, M.G., and ordered to stay 100 yards away from the petitioner, his residence, his workplace, and his “Marine Corp troop [sic].”
Klein explained in a footnote to her opinion that “[t]he circumstances herein make this an appropriate case for the protective nondisclosure of identity.”
Shook issued the injunction after reviewing 14 e-mails allegedly sent to the plaintiff by the defendant, including one that the judge characterized as a “veiled threat” to send embarrassing videos to the Marine’s friends. The judge explained that he was “not looking at” and had “not found any sexually explicit content of any videos,” but that the threat to embarrass the petitioner was a form of harassment.
That was all the trial judge needed to find under the statute, the presiding justice wrote Friday in an unpublished opinion
There was substantial evidence that the police officer sent the e-mails, the jurist said, even though he denied doing so. Klein cited the testimony of a computer expert that all 14 e-mails originated from R.D.’s computer.
As for whether the e-mails were harassing, the jurist cited M.G.’s testimony that “he was hurt by defendant’s threats to discredit him” and “feared going about his business, felt unsafe at home, and had to move in with friends” because “he did not know what defendant might do.”
The injunction did not, as the defendant argued, violate his rights of free speech and assembly, Klein added.
Attorneys on appeal were Jon D. Cantor for the defendant and Crane Stephen Landis for the plaintiff.
The case is M.G. v. R.D., B159974.
Copyright 2003, Metropolitan News Company