A 28-year-old White City woman will spend 10 days in jail for posting a fake Craigslist ad featuring a picture of her former employer and the employer's 5-year-old child with the words "Rape me."
Sarah Marie King pleaded guilty Wednesday in Jackson County Circuit Court to menacing and recklessly endangering another person, both misdemeanors. Judge Lorenzo Mejia sentenced King to 10 days in jail, 104 hours of community service and 18 months of bench probation. King has no other criminal history in Oregon, court records show.
Jackson County Deputy District Attorney Zori Cook said she's hopeful the Legislature will create a felony statute that will make online harassment cases more severe, with more significant consequences.
"In Oregon, currently, we do not have a law that addresses this problem. It's going to be a problem that the Legislature needs to fix," Cook said in a telephone interview. "They come up in domestic violence cases quite a bit, threats through social media. Our biggest concern is seeing this more and more."
King posted the ad March 28 encouraging people to show up to Kelli Samples' house and assault her. King had been fired from an adult foster care business run by Kelli Samples and her husband, Dennis Samples, of Eagle Point.
"In a written statement, the victim told the court that these crimes have emotionally damaged her family, and every time her phone rings she is afraid it is someone calling in response to the ad," Cook said in a news release.
The ad included Samples' address and phone number and used explicit language.
Cook said multiple people drove by Samples' home, while others left text messages and voice mails that made Samples' "skin crawl." Cook said Samples is "in constant fear for her child's safety."
When contacted by Eagle Point police, King admitted to posting the ad as revenge for Samples having a "Snapchat relationship" with King’s partner, Cook said.
Dennis Samples said in an interview that he and Kelli were friends with King and her partner on Snapchat, and that they maintained ties with King's partner after King's termination from the foster care facility.
"She added some spin to us maintaining the friendship with (him)," Samples said. "We both talked to him on Snapchat."
He added that he is glad the case is over.
"We're feeling great," he said. "In a sense, it feels like justice has been served. I think that's 10 days she'll be able to think about her actions."
— Reach reporter Ryan Pfeil at 541-776-4468 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him at www.twitter.com/ryanpfeil.