State v. Van Pelt, 206 N.C. App. 751 (Sept. 7, 2010)

In a prosecution under the prior version of the stalking statute, there was sufficient evidence to sustain a conviction. The court rejected the defendant’s argument that the evidence showed communications to persons other than the alleged victim on all but one occasion, concluding that all of the communications were directed to the victim. The defendant harassed the victim by written communications, pager, and phone with no legitimate purpose. The communications were directed to the victim, including those to his office staff, made with the request that they be conveyed to the victim. The harassment placed the victim in fear as evidenced by his testimony, his actions in having his staff make sure the office doors were locked and ensuring the outside lights were working along with encouraging them to walk in “twos” to their cars, his wife’s testimony of his demeanor during and after his phone call with the defendant, his late night phone call to a police officer, his action in taking out a restraining order, and his visit to his children’s school to speak with teachers and counselors and to have them removed from the school’s website. The victim’s fears were reasonable given the defendant’s odd behavior exhibiting a pattern of escalation.