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Richland Woman Charged on Stalking Counts for Hundreds of Harassing Emails to Prosecutors
October 06, 2023
LANSING – Yesterday, Rita Williams, 37, of Richland, was arraigned before Magistrate Frank Hillary in the 56-B District Court in Barry County for two counts each of Stalking and Use of A Computer to Commit a Crime, announced Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel. Each count is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year of incarceration.
Williams is alleged to have sent hundreds of emails and voicemail messages to prosecutors in the Barry County Prosecutor’s office, including the elected County Prosecutor, in response to the prosecution, subsequent conviction by guilty plea, and present incarceration of her husband. When instructed to cease contact by the prosecutors, it is alleged Williams persisted gratuitously, sending harassing messages to the attorneys on both their work and personal devices.
“Public service is a calling for many, often too few, devoted residents in our state,” said Nessel. “Dedicating oneself to government employment or law enforcement does not mean being subjected to stalking or unmitigated harassment should come with the job. These activities are illegal, no matter who the target is, and will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
Williams will next appear before the 56-B District Court for a pre-trial on November 7, 2023.
Please note: A criminal charge is merely an allegation, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. The Department does not provide booking photos.