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Thursday, July 15, 2010

St. Paul police officer sentenced in love-triangle harassment case

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Anonymous Pioneer Press said...

By Emily Gurnon
Updated: 07/15/2010 12:52:19 PM CDT

The St. Paul police officer who admitted sending harassing messages to a romantic rival made a tearful apology in court today before she was sentenced.

"I feel really bad for everything," said Jessica E. Phillips, 29, who received a stay of imposition of sentence, meaning if she remains law-abiding and sober for two years, the charge will be reduced from a gross misdemeanor to a misdemeanor.

"I've been through hell... I'm trying to build another career and I can't do that with this level of crime on my record," she said, referring to the gross misdemeanor.

She also said she didn't remember making the harassing contacts because she was drunk at the time.

Outside the courtroom, Phillips said she wasn't sure if she was going to try to keep her police officer job.

Ramsey County District Judge Rosanne Nathanson also ordered Phillips to pay $980 in restitution to the victim in the case, Kelly A. Thommes, 41.

Phillips pleaded guilty May 17 to a gross misdemeanor charge of harassment, admitting that she sent a harassing e-mail and three text messages to Thommes.

Thommes had lived with St. Paul officer Louis D. Ferraro, 46, at his home in Columbia Heights until Ferraro told her in March 2009 that he and Phillips were seeing each other.

In September, Phillips got into Ferraro's e-mail and became suspicious that Ferraro and Thommes were back together.

She fired off blistering messages to Thommes that included lewd descriptions of Phillips' and
Ferraro's love life.

The guilty plea came days after a Ramsey County court referee rejected Phillips' petition for a two-year order for protection against Ferraro.

She had alleged that Ferraro had hit her and raped her, and that she feared for her life. Ferraro had said that the two enjoyed rough but consensual sex and that she filed the order for protection to bring a "major ... storm" down on him professionally, as she had written in an e-mail.

Conversely, Nathanson said that the no-contact order barring Phillips from having contact with Thommes remained in effect.

Phillips is on paid leave from the department, which she joined in October 2005.

Ferraro, too, has seen his share of trouble on the job involving the relationship with Phillips.

He was charged with violating a temporary order for protection regarding Phillips; that charge will be dismissed after one year, assuming he remains law-abiding. He is on voluntary leave from the department.

Police spokesman Sgt. Pete Crum said today that there would be internal investigations of both officers.

Emily Gurnon can be reached at 651-228-5522.

5:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This woman has been persecuted in the media.

8:33 PM  

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