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TMCNet:  Portsmouth police: Somersworth man stalked victim through GPS on her phone

[March 02, 2010]

Portsmouth police: Somersworth man stalked victim through GPS on her phone

PORTSMOUTH, Mar 02, 2010 (Foster's Daily Democrat - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- A Somersworth man is being held on $2,500 cash bail on a stalking charge alleging he used a global positioning system on his victim's phone to track her movements and locate her only a day after he was arrested for allegedly assaulting the woman.

Police say Michael Barnes, 42, of 56A Market St., breached his bail conditions on previous simple assault charges when he enabled a GPS application on a woman's phone in an attempt to determine her location.

Court paperwork indicates Barnes used the GPS function to determine the victim was staying at an area women's shelter.

Barnes was arrested on Saturday and charged with Class A misdemeanor counts of breach of bail conditions and stalking.

He appeared in Portsmouth District Court on Monday and was ordered held on $2,500 cash bail by Judge Sawako Gardner.

Portsmouth Prosecutor Rena DiLando said Barnes was arrested by Somersworth authorities on Feb. 26 on simple assault charges against the same victim he allegedly tracked using the cell phone.

Bail conditions of his previous arrest required him to have no contact with the victim.

A police affidavit indicates the victim became aware she was being tracked when her phone carrier sent her a text message notifying her that the GPS function on her cellular phone had been activated.

Police say the message listed the phone number that activated the GPS and investigation showed the number it came back to was Barnes' phone.

"The defendant tracked the victim," DiLando said in arguing for cash bail.

Court paperwork indicates the victim was staying at a battered women's shelter with her child and was fearful of her safety and that of the child as a result of the GPS function having been activated.

The affidavit states a police officer overheard Barnes admitting he used the GPS function to locate the victim while the man was being held at the police station.

Barnes told Judge Gardner during his Monday arraignment that he didn't know he had done anything wrong.

"I didn't even know I was committing a crime," Barnes said.

He denied assaulting the victim and said she had taken his car and his son.

Barnes has asked for court-appointed counsel and a trial will be scheduled on the two misdemeanor charges.

To see more of Foster's Daily Democrat or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to Copyright (c) 2010, Foster's Daily Democrat, Dover, N.H.

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