Superior Court Associate Judge Joseph N. Camacho acquitted yesterday a security guard of charges that he was stalking his former common-law wife despite a court order requiring him to stay away from her.
At a bench trial, Camacho said he is not convinced that when 48-year-old Hari Talukdar made brief contact with the alleged victim it was with the intention of violating the court’s order of protection and for the purpose of unlawfully disturbing her peace.
“The government has failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Hari Talukdar’s brief contact was unlawful,” he said.
In granting Talukdar’s motion for judgment of acquittal, Camacho found him not guilty of disturbing the peace and violating an order of protection charges.
The judge said he does not tolerate domestic violence. However, he said the question is whether Talukdar, who is a security guard that is required to drive from one location to another and chances upon a person briefly, was guilty of violating an order of protection and disturbing the peace.
“A marriage license is not a guarantee to a happy life. Some couples argue and bicker about everything,” he said.
In this case, Camacho said, the alleged victim has been arrested and even detained at the Department of Corrections.
Camacho said the alleged victim obtained a temporary restraining order from Superior Court Associate Judge Kenneth L. Govendo against Talukdar.
The judge noted that Govendo’s order does not include a distance such as the typical 200 feet normally found in TROs.
He said the TRO also does not include conditions that Talukdar “shall not molest, attack, strike, threaten, sexually assault, batter, telephone or disturb the peace” of the petitioner and that Talukdar “shall not make any direct or indirect contact” with her.
In this case, Camacho said, Talukdar is required to drive from one location to another as part of his job as a security guard in a company.
The judge said it takes very little effort to simply wait a few hours on a known route for the alleged victim to meet with Talukdar as he makes his rounds.
At the trial, assistant attorney general Shannon Foley, counsel for the government, called a police officer and the alleged victim.
Police officer Maverick Saures testified that he responded to an emergency call in Chalan Kanoa, where he met the alleged victim last May 25 at 11pm. The alleged victim testified that she was detained for four days earlier this year by Talukdar, her then-boyfriend of five years.
After she was released, she initiated proceedings to obtain a TRO against Talukdar.
She testified that on May 25 she was at Mt. Carmel Cathedral at 7pm and as she was walking to her car, she saw Talukdar about 25 feet away.
She said she immediately turned around and went back to her car and left. She testified that she does not know if Talukdar was already at the cathedral before she went there.
Later that same night, she testified that she and Talukdar’s friend went for a ride to Saipan airport field, where she saw his car drive by at the field.
She said that as she drove to Dandan area, she got to a traffic light, where she saw Talukdar in the other lane.
She said she rolled down her car’s window and shouted at Talukdar, but he did not reply and instead drove off in another direction.
She testified that she drove to Mt. Carmel Cathedral and parked her car at about 9pm that same day. While sitting in the car for two hours, she stated that she saw Talukdar driving by.
She said Talukdar never stopped or interacted with her. She then called the police.
After the alleged victim’s testimony, Foley informed the court that the government rested.
Attorney Cong Nie and Michael Dotts, court-appointed counsel for Talukdar, then moved for judgment of acquittal.