A Mason City man was found guilty of stalking, an aggravated misdemeanor.
Jon Pete, 50, was sentenced to a suspended two years of prison with one year of probation and a suspended fine of $625.
Pete had submitted an Alford plea in early November. In it, he says there may be sufficient evidence for the court to find he is guilty of stalking, so he would like to move on with the sentencing without a trial.
“He has not admitted to this and taken responsibility for doing stalking,” assistant county attorney Andrew Olson said.
District Associate Judge Adam Sauer gave the same sentence Olson had recommended. Olson had also recommended Pete take a mental health evaluation and following through with any assigned treatment, but since he had already done this, Sauer did not include it.
“I’m not arguing for prison,” Olson said. “I don’t think that’s appropriate.”
The victim also wanted the no contact order extended another year.
After the woman had told him to stop contacting her, Pete had left notes on her car asking her to contact him, drove recklessly through the parking lot at her work and parked his car down the street from her house so she would have to pass by him when driving to work mid-June, according to the criminal complaint.
He also approached her car in the YMCA parking lot and asked her why she wouldn't talk to him, at which point she told him to stop bothering her. He then told her he loved her and wanted to work things out, but when she told him no, he walked to the back of her car, opened the passenger door, looked around the interior and told her he would see her later, leaving her shaking and crying, according to the criminal complaint.
The next day, Pete drove through the parking lot at the victim's workplace, then to her home, pulling into the driveway, and honked the horn, despite having been banned from being at her residence by a banning notice served by law enforcement.
That same morning, he had sent an email saying, “I can’t believe what you did to me! I am done with life! FYI, you have (a sexually transmitted disease)!!” and left a broken picture frame with a picture of himself and the woman in front of her residence, according to the criminal complaint.
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Pete was convicted of third-degree harassment, also against her, in February.
“The biggest problem we have here, Your Honor, is he’s just been obsessive,” Olson said. “He has failed to leave her alone.”
In asking for a deferred judgment, which would erase this charge from Pete’s record after he completes probation, Richard Tompkins, Jr., Pete’s attorney, said Pete has taken responsibility for his actions and gotten an evaluation at Prairie Ridge Integrated Behavioral Healthcare and followed through with the treatment.
“His primary problem in this, Your Honor, has been alcohol and drinking, and he has taken care of that,” Tompkins said.
Tompkins said Pete has a good heart and the alcohol had clouded his judgment at the time, but he has since paid for it through the seven days of jail for the no contact order violation, getting a mental evaluation and getting treatment.
Pete said he has been sober now for 133 days.
Pete will be starting a job in Omaha, Nebraska, and plans to move there Thursday, Dec. 19, Tompkins said. Pete had been let go of his previous job as a salesman in Mason City because of the stalking charge.
Sauer said deferred judgments are usually for someone who makes a one-time mistake or an isolated event, but stalking by nature is a pattern of criminal conduct, not to mention Pete’s previous harassment charge.
“While you clearly have the support of many people based on the recommendations, and you’ve clearly taken steps here … with regards to your treatment at Prairie Ridge and evaluations, I don’t believe that the grace of deferred judgment is appropriate,” he said.
The victim said she wanted to express hope that Pete “gets the help he needs,” because “things can get turned around very quickly after an episode of drinking.”
“It is my strong belief that Jon would benefit from close monitoring and supervision with the Department of Corrections,” she said. “Alcohol has played a part in this situation, and I pray that Jon will find strength to avoid alcohol.”
In connection with this case, Pete has also been accused of third-degree harassment and first degree trespassing.
Grace Zaplatynsky can be reached at 641-421-0534.