On Wednesday, June 20, 2018 a Contra Costa County jury found defendant Todd Andrew Mayer guilty of two felony counts of stalking family members. The jury also determined Mayer was guilty of six misdemeanors for violating restraining orders that were issued by the court for the protection of his mother. Mayer lived out of state but, his family lived in Danville. He was arrested by Danville Police.
Contra Costa County Deputy District Attorney Chris Sansoe prosecuted the case on behalf of the People. Sansoe is a prosecutor in the Domestic Violence Unit. The jury trial lasted eight days before the Honorable Nancy Stark. Sentencing for the defendant will occur on July 20, at 9:00 a.m. Mayer could face up to 11 years in state prison.
“I am glad the jury was able to see the defendant’s actions for what they were, terrifying. I hope that the victims and their families can find some peace after this long struggle,” said DDA Sansoe.
In September 2016, after years of verbal and emotional abuse, Mayer’s wife filed for a restraining order for herself and children. She followed the procedures of the Contra Costa County Superior Court and was awarded a restraining order. Within days of receiving the order, Mayer violated the order.
Mayer then began to threaten other members of his family, including his brother and his mother. In March of 2017, Mayer’s brother had applied for and received a restraining order as well. This order prohibited Mayer from contacting his brother, or his brother’s family. Mayer’s mother would also apply for and receive a restraining order. As with his wife, the defendant violated these orders within days. Because of his violations of the restraining orders, his family members blocked his phone number and stopped responding to his violations.
After being blocked from calling or texting by the victims, Mayer switched his harassment to email form. Between March 25, 2017 and his arrest on October 10, 2017, Mayer sent his wife, brother, and mother hundreds of emails. The victims did not respond to these emails. As time passed, Mayer’s emails became more and more threatening in nature.
These threats included statements that Mayer would murder his former wife, brother, and his brother’s family. As time progressed, Mayer’s threats became more descriptive and detailed. On October 3, 2017, Mayer threatened to murder his brother’s wife and child in front of his own brother. In addition, Mayer used the film “Law Abiding Citizen” and its theme to threaten his brother. On October 6, 2017, Mayer sent an email to his family members, in which he threatened to do a Las Vegas type shooting. This threat was five days after the mass shooting occurred on the Las Vegas strip.
Stalking is a serious crime that is often an indicator of other forms of violence. The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence reports that 81 percent of women who were stalked by a current or former husband or cohabitating partner were also physically assaulted by that partner; 31 percent of women were sexually assaulted. 75 percent of women murdered by an intimate partner were stalked first; 85 percent of women who survived murder attempts were stalked. Nearly 3 out of 4 victims know their stalkers in some capacity and the most common relationship between the victim and the perpetrator is a current or former intimate partner. 1 in every 6 U.S. women and 1 out of every 19 U.S. men have been staked in their lifetime.
Abusers use stalking to intimidate and control their victims and the pattern of threats and harassment can come in many forms as it did in this case. Victims can get help by reporting the conduct to the police, by calling the STAND! for Families Free of Violence 24-hour toll free crisis line at 1-888-215-5555 or visiting the Family Justice Centers in Richmond (256 24th St.) or Concord (2151 Salvio St., Ste. 201). In any life-threatening emergency, victims should always call 911.
Case information: People v. Todd Andrew Mayer, Docket Number 05-180613-2