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Hopper arrested again

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Hopper arrested again

Postby Lily » Mon Oct 22, 2012 2:10 pm

Randy Hopper isn't looking too good these days...

http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/app ... 2310220252

"Randy Hopper, executive director of the Sheboygan County Economic Development Corp. and former Republican senator from Fond du Lac, was arrested in Fond du Lac following a report of a fight late Sunday at his ex-wife’s home.

Hopper, 46, of Fond du Lac, was cited for drunken driving and taken into custody on charges of disorderly conduct — domestic abuse, criminal trespass to dwelling and unlawful use of telephone, according to a Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s Office press release.

Hopper posted a $500 cash bond and was released from the Fond du Lac County Jail at 11 a.m. today."
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Re: Hopper arrested again

Postby Francis Di Domizio » Mon Oct 22, 2012 2:21 pm

wth is
unlawful use of telephone
?
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Re: Hopper arrested again

Postby Michael Patrick » Mon Oct 22, 2012 2:24 pm

I hope the jurors who voted to acquit him last time are real proud of themsleves.
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Re: Hopper arrested again

Postby TheBookPolice » Mon Oct 22, 2012 2:26 pm

Francis Di Domizio wrote:wth is
unlawful use of telephone
?

Let me google that for you.

http://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/statute ... ew=section
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Re: Hopper arrested again

Postby Francis Di Domizio » Mon Oct 22, 2012 2:35 pm

TheBookPolice wrote:
Francis Di Domizio wrote:wth is
unlawful use of telephone
?

Let me google that for you.

http://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/statute ... ew=section



Hey! Thanks!

So it's basically making something that I think was already illegal, illegal to do with a phone as well. In other words it's the charge the DA will agree to drop in return for a guilty plea?
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Re: Hopper arrested again

Postby kurt_w » Mon Oct 22, 2012 3:04 pm

Francis Di Domizio wrote:So it's basically making something that I think was already illegal, illegal to do with a phone as well. In other words it's the charge the DA will agree to drop in return for a guilty plea?


That's a bit of a strange leap there. For example, it makes it illegal to keep calling someone's phone number for the purpose of harassing them. How exactly would one do that without a phone -- by following them around and saying "Hey, you!" over and over again? I see the law as making it explicit that, yes, calling people in various annoying ways with the intent of harassing them really does count as harassment.
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Re: Hopper arrested again

Postby Francis Di Domizio » Mon Oct 22, 2012 3:22 pm

kurt_w wrote:
Francis Di Domizio wrote:So it's basically making something that I think was already illegal, illegal to do with a phone as well. In other words it's the charge the DA will agree to drop in return for a guilty plea?


That's a bit of a strange leap there. For example, it makes it illegal to keep calling someone's phone number for the purpose of harassing them. How exactly would one do that without a phone -- by following them around and saying "Hey, you!" over and over again? I see the law as making it explicit that, yes, calling people in various annoying ways with the intent of harassing them really does count as harassment.


Kurt, if I were to continually follow you around or even just find you once, and threaten you, would that not be illegal? Pretty sure you don't need a phone to do that.
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Re: Hopper arrested again

Postby kurt_w » Mon Oct 22, 2012 3:27 pm

Francis Di Domizio wrote:Kurt, if I were to continually follow you around or even just find you once, and threaten you, would that not be illegal? Pretty sure you don't need a phone to do that.


Nope. But you do need a phone to do 2(c) from that list. No threatening has to be involved. It's illegal even to call someone's phone repeatedly and hang up, if the intent is harassment. That's the kind of thing that a prosecutor, judge, or jury might be tempted to write off as a "prank". So the effect of the law is to clarify that yes, even if you don't say a word to someone, just making their phone ring repeatedly can be harassment.
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Re: Hopper arrested again

Postby Francis Di Domizio » Mon Oct 22, 2012 3:59 pm

So basically, it clarifies that anything that would be harassment without a phone is also harassment with a phone. And says that you also can't call people repeatedly, then hang up, unless you were not doing it to harass them.

This all isn't covered by making harassment illegal, how?
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Re: Hopper arrested again

Postby kurt_w » Mon Oct 22, 2012 4:14 pm

Francis, if you read my last two comments, I think explained -- twice -- the point of the law.

"Harassment" is a vague term. If the legislature wants to ensure that X, Y, or Z really is treated as harassment by the courts, one way to do that is to pass a law explicitly stating that doing X, Y, or Z with the intent of harassment is illegal.

It doesn't seem like that confusing or difficult a concept to me, but YMMV.
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Re: Hopper arrested again

Postby Francis Di Domizio » Mon Oct 22, 2012 4:29 pm

kurt_w wrote:Francis, if you read my last two comments, I think explained -- twice -- the point of the law.

"Harassment" is a vague term. If the legislature wants to ensure that X, Y, or Z really is treated as harassment by the courts, one way to do that is to pass a law explicitly stating that doing X, Y, or Z with the intent of harassment is illegal.

It doesn't seem like that confusing or difficult a concept to me, but YMMV.



Except that the statute actually uses the following phrases:

  • With intent to frighten, intimidate, threaten, abuse or harass
  • With intent to frighten, intimidate, threaten or abuse
  • with intent to abuse or threaten any person at the called number
  • With intent to harass or offend
  • with intent to harass
  • with intent solely to harass

So how is the vagueness of the term harassment clarified in this statute? You still need to define an act as harassment and prove that the intent was to harass. It seems no clearer to say he used a phone to harass his ex-wife than to say he harassed his ex-wife. The behavior still needs to be considered harassment in the eyes of the court.
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Re: Hopper arrested again

Postby kurt_w » Mon Oct 22, 2012 4:37 pm

Francis Di Domizio wrote:So how is the vagueness of the term harassment clarified in this statute? You still need to define an act as harassment and prove that the intent was to harass.


So this law takes care of the first part of that. Right?
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Re: Hopper arrested again

Postby Francis Di Domizio » Mon Oct 22, 2012 4:47 pm

kurt_w wrote:
Francis Di Domizio wrote:So how is the vagueness of the term harassment clarified in this statute? You still need to define an act as harassment and prove that the intent was to harass.


So this law takes care of the first part of that. Right?


Not really, it just says if you do these things, it might be harassment, not that it definitely is. A DA could still say that they didn't think Hopper was harassing his wife just because he called her 25 times in 2 min. It just makes it clear that if the DA does think that such an act is harassment, then it's illegal, which it already was.
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Re: Hopper arrested again

Postby kurt_w » Mon Oct 22, 2012 5:02 pm

OK, I doubt that anyone but you or I is still following this, but for the sake of argument....

You yourself pointed out the distinction between act and intent. In order for someone to be convicted of harassment, they need to have the intent, but they also need to engage in the kind of action that would be expected to result in harassment if motivated by the intent to harass.

Let's say you have a grudge against me, and decide to persecute me by secretly casting spells on me. Fortunately for us both, witchcraft doesn't actually work. So even if the DA claims that your spell-casting constitutes harassment, your defense lawyer can point out that a purely imaginary offense isn't harassment.

Now suppose that you instead decide to take out your anger at me by calling my phone every night at 3 AM. The DA charges you with harassment. In the absence of this law, your lawyer could claim that regardless of intent, the act of making a prank call doesn't rise to the level of harassment, any more than practicing witchcraft does. With this law, your lawyer needs to come up with a different line of defense, because the act of making prank calls has explicitly been defined as a crime.
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Re: Hopper arrested again

Postby Henry Vilas » Wed Oct 31, 2012 6:22 pm

Hopper steps down from economic development corp.

Former state Sen. Randy Hopper has resigned as head of the Sheboygan County Economic Development Corp.

The 46-year-old Republican had led the organization since June, after being recalled from office the previous summer. His resignation came Tuesday, the same day he was cited in Fond du Lac County on a first-offense drunken driving charge.
...
Hopper's wife filed to get temporary restraining order against him.

His downward spiral continues.
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