Saturday, January 15, 2011

Australian Man Pleads Guilty to CyberHarassment & Cyberstalking

by Mark Oberhardt

A BIOTECHNOLOGY expert who couldn't deal with rejection from women bombarded four of them with abusive e-mails and texts after they spurned his advances, a court has heard.

Jason Ronald Vaughan, 35, made his second appearance in the District Court in Brisbane on charges arising out of harassing women he met and who didn't want anything to do with him.

Last year a District Court jury found Vaughan guilty of unlawfully stalking an artist who he met at a gallery where she displayed her work.

He was sentenced 2 1/2 years' probation and 240 hours' community service.

The trial heard despite the fact the woman had a boyfriend and told Vaughan she wanted nothing to do with him, he constantly phoned and sent her messages and emails from July to August 2008.

The artist gave up painting and stopped exhibiting her artwork in the gallery.

Vaughan failed in an appeal against his conviction late last year.

In the District Court today, Vaughan pleaded guilty to four counts of using a carriageway to harass, menance or cause offence between 2005 and 2007.

Commonwealth prosecutor Stuart Shearer said while Vaughan was this time charged under federal law the offences were very similar to the stalking charge from Vaughan's trail last year.

The offences involved three women - Vaughan's former girlfriend, a university student he met on a bus, and a woman he met at a nightclub in Paddington.

Mr Shearer said it involved Vaughan behaving in an aggressive and persistent manner when rejected by women.

"He has an inability to accept and deal with rejection from women . . . this conduct is almost routine to him," Mr Shearer said.

The texts and e-mails were usually juvenile and overtly sexual and phone calls usually started out calmly before Vaughan became angry, Mr Shearer added.

In a written statement of agreed facts showed Vaughan sent messages such as: "What was I ever doing with a walrus like you" or "You vile piece of filth - you will pay 4 what you've done."

Barrister Aaron Simpson, for Vaughan, said his client had a science degree and worked in the biotechnology field. He said Vaughan had been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression. Mr Simpson said Vaughan had taken steps to address his problems by seeking medical help and assistance.

Judge Tony Rafter, SC, said in many ways he's a despicable person because his behaviour was not isolated. He said, however, after taking mitigating factors into account he would sentence Vaughan to 12 months' jail but release him immediately on a $2000 good behaviour bond for two years.

Judge Rafter also accepted a request from state prosecutors to revoke the community service order from the stalking convictions.

original article here

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