(Spencer E. Holtaway/flickr)
Allegations that a woman with an order of protection against her tagged her victim in Facebook posts would, if true, constitute a violation of the protection order, a judge ruled.
According to Acting Westchester County Supreme Court Justice Susan Capeci in People v. Gonzalez, 6081M/15, Maria Gonzalez created a link to their Facebook profile in which she wrote “Stupid” and “You and your family are sad … You guys have to come stronger than that!! I’m way over you guys but I guess not in ya agenda.”
The victim said she received a notification that she had been tagged.
Gonzalez is charged with second-degree criminal contempt for the alleged post and moved to dismiss the charge on grounds that the protection order did not specifically ban Gonzalez from making contact with the victim via Facebook.
Capeci denied the motion, finding that the order prohibited Gonzalez from contacting the victim by “electronic or any other means.”
“The allegations that she contacted the victim by tagging her in a Facebook posting which the victim was notified of is thus sufficient for pleading purposes to establish a violation of the order of protection,” Capeci wrote.
She cited a 2014 decision by the Court of Appeals in People v. Horton, 24 NY3d 985, a witness tampering case in which the court found that Facebook messages are essentially email.
Kim Frohlinger, a solo attorney in Hartsdale, was appointed by the court to represent Gonzalez. Westchester County Assistant District Attorney Elizabeth Marcus appeared for the government.