KENOSHA -- Kenosha Alderman John Ruffolo has been charged with stalking, accused of harassing his ex-girlfriend for more than three years -- sometimes hourly, and ignoring warnings from police to stop. He appeared in court on Wednesday, August 16th -- and cash bond was set at $10,000.
Because Ruffolo is an elected official, Mount Pleasant police investigated, and Ruffolo was charged by a state prosecutor with the Wisconsin DOJ.
The criminal complaint against Ruffolo says between February 2013 and July 2017, he intentionally stalked an ex-girlfriend. The U.S. attorney who was in court Wednesday said there were dozens of unwanted phone calls. He said Ruffolo also apparently ignored repeated warnings to stop. Those warnings included a call from the Mount Pleasant Police Department which was recorded -- and a warning letter from the Wisconsin Attorney General's Office.
The complaint indicates Ruffolo allegedly used spoofed phone numbers -- because his number was blocked by his ex-girlfriend. He is also alleged to have driven by the woman's house repeatedly, having unwanted contact sometimes daily, sometimes hourly.
A camera at her home recorded him driving past repeatedly, and putting a bottle of wine near her door or flowers -- even following her as she drove to run errands.
The complaint says investigators also put a GPS device on Ruffolo's vehicle.
Ruffolo's lawyer said in court there was never an allegation of threat of force, there were no weapons and no sexual assault.
"Even if we assume every word in the complaint is true and accurate, there are no allegations here of any use of weapons. There's no allegation of claims or threats to use weapons or force against the specific person," his attorney said.
Ruffolo has no criminal record, but he does have some conflict in his past. In 2013, another alderman, Patrick Juliana, accused him of putting glue in his car door. Additionally, in the past, some residents in a trailer park Ruffolo owns accused him of being a negligent landlord.
In court on Wednesday, cash bond was set at $10,000 -- which was posted Thursday morning. He's been ordered to have no direct or indirect contact with the victim in this case, and that includes her home and workplace.
A preliminary hearing was set for August 25th.
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