Man Charged with Aggravated Stalking After Parking Outside 14-Year-Old’s Home

November 11, 2022 Criminal Defense

Stalking is taken very seriously in the state of Florida. If someone intentionally follows or harasses another person, it can result in criminal charges. A recent case in Florida indicates what can happen if someone is accused of stalking a minor.

This article will provide details from the case, along with information on stalking and aggravated stalking in Florida.

What was the Incident?

Rajpaul Bridgemohan, 38, was arrested for aggravated stalking after parking outside a 14-year-old’s house on Halloween. According to the Plantation Police report, the minor’s mother called authorities after noticing the suspect’s car outside of their home for almost two hours.

Six months prior, the minor claimed she had another incident with Bridgemohan. The victim said she was waved over by Bridgemohan outside of a nearby church, where he asked for her phone number. The victim told officers that the suspect’s presence was giving her “emotional distress” which left her feeling unsafe in her own home.

The victim and her mother called the police on Halloween after Bridgemohan did not leave his spot parked in the girl’s neighborhood. When authorities arrived at the scene, Bridgemohan immediately exited his vehicle and said he needed to make a phone call.

One of the officers noted that Bridgemohan was visibly “sweating, shaking, and avoiding eye contact” and had told someone on the other line of the phone that he was planning to finalize his divorce after 17 years. The suspect then proceeded to tell the officers that he parked there after becoming “distraught” about his divorce.

Bridgemohan also claimed to have gained permission to park there from one of the neighbors. When investigated further, the neighbor told police that they only gave Bridgemohan permission because he said he had children trick-or-treating and was waiting for him to finish.

Upon further investigation, it was revealed that Bridgemohan’s divorce was already finalized in May 2021. The suspect also claimed to have only been there for a few minutes, when the victim and her mother said he had been parked for almost two hours. Bridgemohan’s responsed that he may have lost track of time.

“I asked Bridgemohan why he was in the area, as neither his residence, place of employment, nor his lawyer’s office are nearby,” said one of the officers. “He advised that he chose to park in this particular neighborhood because his uncle lives close by. I asked where his uncle lived…[which was] nearly 40 blocks west.”

When police questioned him about the first incident with the 14-year-old girl six months prior, Bridgemohan confirmed he had parked there before but denied ever trying to receive the minor’s phone number.

When Bridgemohan was searched, the authorities found a condom on his person, which he had no explanation for. Bridgemohan has since been arrested and charged with aggravated stalking due to the incident.

Stalking and Aggravating Stalking in Florida

Florida defines stalking under Statute section 784.048 as when an individual intentionally and maliciously follows, cyberstalks, or harasses another person. Cyberstalking refers to engaging in a course of conduct that communicates words, images, or language by electronic mail or communication that is directed at a specific person and causes substantial emotional distress. If an individual is caught stalking another person in Florida, it can result in a first-degree misdemeanor which is punishable by up to one year in jail, a $1,000 fine, or both.

The charges can be enhanced to an aggravated stalking charge if the accused person makes a credible threat to the victim, in addition to the characteristics of a regular stalking charge. In addition, a stalking charge is enhanced to aggravated stalking if the alleged victim is under the age of 16. Aggravated stalking can result in a third-degree felony in Florida. A third-degree felony has a penalty of up to a $5,000 fine and up to five years in prison.

If an individual has already been sentenced to a sex crime that would prohibit them from contacting the victim and they choose to willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly follow, harass, or cyberstalk the victim, it can result in an aggravated stalking charge. The following is a list of offenses that can result in an aggravated stalking charge if the defendant seeks out the victim:

To find out more about stalking and aggravated stalking charges in Florida, read our page here.

Defenses to Stalking

There are still credible defenses to use against a stalking charge, with the help of a skilled defense attorney. The following is a list of potential defenses to use in a stalking or aggravated stalking case:

  • False allegations from the alleged victim
  • The contact was for a legitimate reason
  • There is not sufficient evidence against the accused person
  • Mistaken identity

To find out what defenses work best with your specific case, reach out to a skilled defense attorney in your area.

Finding a Defense Attorney in Tallahassee, Florida

If you or someone you love has been accused of a stalking charge, we advise reaching out to an attorney in your area. Contact a Tallahassee stalking defense attorney at Pumphrey Law Firm to build a strong defense for your case.

Don Pumphrey and his team are experienced in defending individuals who have been falsely accused of harassing or stalking another person. Call us today at (850) 681-7777 or leave an online message for a free consultation regarding your case.

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