WAUKESHA, Wis. (AP) – A man who allegedly stalked a terminally ill 13-year-old girl online and moved from West Virginia to Wisconsin to be near her was charged this week with felony stalking.
Shannon C. Bailey, 30, found the girl on CaringBridge, a website where families update friends on the medical conditions of loved ones, according to the criminal complaint. He allegedly became infatuated with her and sent her mother a Facebook message saying he needed to see the girl and be with her.
The mother told police Bailey had been harassing her daughter since then. She said she believed Bailey wanted to marry the girl.
Bailey told police that he has no sexual desire for the girl, but he just wants to be her friend and help her as she awaits a liver transplant, according to a WITI-TV report.
The mother called police Monday after spotting Bailey in her neighborhood. Bailey told responding officers he had every right to be wherever he wanted, the complaint said. When police advised him of the mother’s concern for her daughter’s safety he said it’s up to the girl, not the mother, to decide whether the girl wanted to be with him.
Bailey said “his heart and the Lord is telling him he needs to be with the girl,” the complaint said.
He was charged Thursday with felony stalking, which carries a maximum penalty of 18 months in prison and a $10,000 fine. He was ordered held on $100,000 cash bond, and the judge asked the public defender’s office to contact him about representation before the next hearing Wednesday.
Court records don’t indicate that Bailey’s been assigned a public defender yet.
A few hours before Bailey was spotted in the girl’s neighborhood, a deputy approached him with a restraining order barring him from being near the girl’s family.
“He was served that restraining order and ripped it up in front of the deputy who served that to him,” Waukesha police Sgt. Jerry Habanek told WISN-TV.
The next day police found him a few houses away from the girl’s home. He refused orders to remove his hands from his pockets and he began yelling at an officer and crouching for a possible attack so an officer deployed a stun gun, court documents said.
As he was being arrested, he told the officer, “This isn’t gonna change anything,” the complaint said.