The impunity with which a Brooklyn man stalks a neighbor exposes legal ambiguities that force victims to prove harassment before cops will act, an expert said Sunday.
"In stalking cases, the experience has been that victims suffer a great amount of frustration," said security consultant Sal Lifrieri."It becomes more dependent upon the victim to put the case together themselves and then bring it to the authorities."
That difficulty has been at the heart of a four-year-long campaign of harassment suffered by a Daily News freelance photographer at the hands of an elderly neighbor.
She says Allen Novell, 73, has followed her around the city for years, but since he has never directly threatened or communicated with her, authorities can't bring charges.
Novell - who has a history of assault - has denied stalking the photographer.
"Finding that line where you really cross over to criminal territory is kind of arbitrary," Lifrieri said. "If he is not approaching you, and not doing anything or causing any harm, it's much harder to prove."
In recent high-profile celebrity stalking cases involving Madonna, Uma Thurman and Ivanka Trump, the stalkers made threatening phone calls or posted creepy Internet messages.
In a case where there is no overt harassment, it is key to document the pattern of contact in as much detail as possible so there is clear evidence to give to police.
"You need to document all those times that it occurs. It'll show a history of the occurrences in very specific detail," Lifrieri said.
He also suggested that victims look carefully at their online profiles to make sure they aren't revealing too much about themselves or their whereabouts for a potential stalker to see.