Woman Convicted In Latest Phone Harassment Dispute
Dec. 22, 1988
ROCKVILLE, Md. (AP) _ A Maryland woman faces up to three years in prison on her conviction for making repeated telephone calls to harass another woman while both were dating the same man.
Carolyn Foote, 28, of Germantown, also faces a possible $500 fine, according to her attorney, John P. Kudel. She was convicted of telephone harassment by Montgomery County District Court Judge Paul McGuckian after a three-hour trial Tuesday. No sentencing date was set.
The two-year dispute was the subject of an ''Oprah Winfrey Show'' broadcast in September.
The victim, Lorraine Goldstein, of Gaithersburg, burst into tears when McGuckian announced his verdict. Ms. Goldstein, who has changed her surname to avoid further harassment, said she changed her unlisted telephone number seven times to escape Ms. Foote's threats. She asked that her new surname not be disclosed.
''This is obviously a tragic and unfortunate case,'' said McGuckian, who noted Ms. Foote's ''obsessive behavior'' before reading the verdict. ''Why it's gone on this long, I'll never understand.''
Kudel described Ms. Goldstein as ''an insecure person'' with a ''desire to be recognized'' and suggested she fabricated her story and pressed charges against Ms. Foote because she enjoyed the publicity her case had received.
Ms. Goldstein said she dated Jeffrey Dorsey casually for abou two years when she received the first threatening call in December 1986 from a woman who told her to leave him alone ''or I will kill you.''
The calls reached a peak of 60 per hour, she said.
Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone Co. traced numerous calls to Foote's home and to the Rockville law firm where she worked, Ms. Goldstein said.
Ms. Goldstein, who told police she was 45 in September, said she discontinued her relationship with Dorsey in April 1988. The harassment eased this year, but the calls resumed in early September, shortly after her unlisted number was printed in an advertisement for a roommate in a local newspaper, she said.
Ms. Foote denied harassing Ms. Goldstein and said the Gaithersburg woman threatened her on several occasions.
Dorsey testified on Ms. Foote's behalf. He also said he had filed trespassing and other charges against both women because of disputes he had with them.
Ms. Foote was given probation before judgment in 1987 on an earlier harassment conviction.