Date: Sun, 19 May 2013 08:57:53 +0200
- OH NO!!
Jennifer Lawrence family allegedly stalked by Canadian man
A Chinese-born Canadian citizen is being held on $100,000 bail in the Jefferson County Jail after he was charged with allegedly stalking and harassing the family of Academy Award-winning actress Jennifer Lawrence.
Han Cong Zhao, a 23-year-old former university student from Vancouver, allegedly contacted Lawrence’s brother more than 200 times from Canada before he flew to Louisville April 18 and left a threatening message on his voice mail.
Zhao went to the Indian Hills Police Department the same day and asked Chief Kelly Spratt how he could contact Lawrence’s parents, according to a criminal complaint. He allegedly continued to try to contact Lawrence’s brother, Blaine, when Zhao was involuntarily held for about three weeks at Central State Hospital, according to a criminal complaint.
Prosecutors say Zhao left a voice mail for Blaine, saying: “I find you or you come to me. You got me really upset, when I am upset, wait and see what happens.”
After Zhao was released May 8 and charged with stalking and harassing communications, he gave Chief Spratt two letters for the 22-year-old actress that he addressed to “Mary,” according to court records, which say he has referred to her as “his Mary, referencing Biblical Mary.”
Zhao has pleaded not guilty pending a trial scheduled for July 23. Jefferson District Judge Annette Karem ordered him held on $100,000 bond at the request of the county attorney’s office, which said in court papers that “the victims are in serious danger.”
“My concern is that because of the people this allegedly involved we are trying to fix things from the get-go,” she said.
“Excuse me — fix things?” an enraged Karem interrupted. “I take serious offense at that statement.”
Karem abruptly left the bench, temporarily aborting the hearing. When it resumed a few minutes later, Karem denied she was giving special treatment to the family of an actress whom Time magazine has named one of the 100 most influential people in the world.
“I know you are vehemently advocating for your client and I understand that,” Karem said. “But I want you to understand there is no citizen in this community who is any more important than any other. Maybe from the outside looking in that is what it may seem. My concern is based solely on the facts of this case.”
Karem declined to reduce bail and ordered Zhao to have no contact with the Lawrences. “No letters, no emails, no voice messages, no texts, no flowers,” she said.
Zhao said he understood. “Absolutely,” he said.
Karem also ordered that addresses and other information on Blaine Lawrence and Karen Lawrence, his mother, who is listed as a witness, be stricken from the record.
Blaine Lawrence referred questions to family friend and lawyer Brad Hume, who said in a statement that the family appreciated the “responsiveness and professionalism” of the Indiana Hills Police Department and the county attorney’s office, and would cooperate fully.
“Beyond that the Lawrences asked that their privacy be respected,” he said. “This is not something they invited.”