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Texas trooper who stalked, impersonated ex-wife online sentenced

While many divorces are mutual agreements to end a failing marriage, often one spouse is reluctant or refuses to accept the decision. The negative feelings people have when a spouse requests a divorce can range from depression to extreme bitterness and anger. In some cases, these feelings can lead people to cause harm to their spouse, such as with domestic violence or other illegal activity.

A man who used to be a Texas state trooper was recently convicted after relentlessly stalking his ex-wife and impersonating her online, which led several men to visit her home expecting sex. Although he initially faced up to 10 years in prison, he was sentenced to four years of probation.

The harassment started more than two years ago when the former officer began texting his ex-wife hundreds of times in spring of 2009. He soon graduated to threatening phone calls to his ex-wife's aunt and mother. Later that year, he created a fake profile of his ex-wife on an online dating website for adults, making it appear she was looking for sex partners. The woman soon had multiple strangers show up for sexual favors, assuming the woman who lived there was a willing participant.

A resulting investigation linked the profile to his computer and he was convicted last month on stalking and online impersonation. Although these activities may not have been direct acts of domestic violence, they were intended to cause harm and could have put his ex-wife in serious danger.

People who become victims of harassment, stalking or domestic violence should not wait until the behavior escalates, but contact law enforcement authorities right away and seek out legal protection through a family law attorney. You may think you know your former spouse's limits, but assuming they won't reach a dangerous level is a risk no one can afford to take.

Source: Star-Telegram, "Former DPS trooper gets 4 years probation for stalking, impersonating ex-wife online," Dianna Hunt, Aug. 30, 2012

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