Judge won’t dismiss harassment case against businessmanA rural Somerset businessman will stand trial in a alleged harassment case.
A rural Somerset businessman will stand trial in a alleged harassment case.
James Raboin appeared in court Friday with his attorney Daniel DeMaio. DeMaio had filed a motion with St. Croix County judge Eric Lundell to dismiss the case.
DeMaio argued that special prosecutor Moria Ludvigson lacked sufficient evidence to prove that his client was guilty of the misdemeanor crime.
The alleged harassment incident involved Raboin’s apparent mailing of a appeal document to Aaron and Shari Klasse, Emerald, who hold a judgment against Raboin related to a previous theft case.
Shari Klasse has an existing restraining order against Raboin barring him from contacting them.
But Raboin sent the court document directly to the couple, adding the words “Good Luck” on the envelope of the communication.
DeMaio argued that the prosecutor lacked any proof that the handwriting on the envelope was Raboin’s. He said there are only three ways to verify if someone wrote something: if someone witnesses a person writing it; if someone admits to writing something; or if a handwriting expert analyzes the handwriting.
DeMaio said no expert has been hired to analyze the envelope, so the case should be dismissed.
“The state does not have any evidence that Mr. Raboin made the writing,” he told Lundell. “It’s just supposition.”
DeMaio also noted that, even if he had written “Good Luck” on the envelope, it was simply a salutation and not “communication” with the Klasses. The restraining order only covers communication.
Demaio also claimed that his client’s right to appeal supercedes the court’s no contact order.
Ludvigson countered saying a handwriting expert will be hired prior to trial and the envelope will be examined.
As prosecutor, Ludvigson explained, she is not required to disclose her entire case prior to the trial, so the motion to dismiss should be denied.
“All we need to show is probable cause,” she argued.
Ludvigson said the real question is if “communication” took place between Raboin and the Klasses.
She noted that the court order is that Reboin cannot communicate with the Klasses.
“He refuses to follow that court order,” she charged.
In his ruling, Lundell said the matter would not be dismissed.
“I think this is a trial issue,” he said.
Lundell did remind Ludvigson of a new law in Wisconsin that brings into question “the science behind” the opinions of expert witnesses.
Lundell said he would research the matter over the coming weeks to become better informed about the law.
A pre-trial hearing was scheduled for 10 a.m. July 7. Lundell also ordered Raboin to provide a writing sample to the court so that it may be evaluated.