Painesville man accused of stalking Canfield educator

Staff report


A Painesville man accused of stalking and harassing a woman — who considered him a family friend — was indicted Thursday by the Mahoning County grand jury.

Robert P. McLaughlin, 63, of Marsh Lane in Painesville, is charged with pandering obscenity and possession of criminal tools, after a lengthy investigation by Canfield police.

McLaughlin was arrested in his home Dec. 8 after Canfield police executed a search warrant. A police report says they found photos of the victim, pornographic material, stacks of papers listing names and addresses of schools in Ohio and Pennsylvania, as well as various area businesses; computer equipment; and business cards with the victim’s ex-boyfriend’s name on them.

Police believe McLaughlin had been harassing the victim, a Canfield resident and educator, since March 2010 by sending e-mails threatening to reveal personal information about her.

In addition to the e-mails, letters containing a website with fabricated sexual information about the victim and business cards stating the victim would perform specific sexual acts were mailed to business owners, school administrators and teachers throughout Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana counties, and parts of Pennsylvania, the report said.

Canfield police said they were able to determine that McLaughlin was behind the harassment after receiving billing information from a French Internet company that purports to let people “get revenge on their ex.” The site states it is intended to be humorous “with a mean streak.”

Records showed that McLaughlin purchased items from the website that later were mailed to the victim along with notes that were sexual in nature.

McLaughlin already is serving a six-month sentence in Mahoning County jail after pleading guilty in December in Mahoning County Area Court in Canfield to case-related misdemeanor charges of stalking and telephone harassment.

He will appear in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court on the felony indictment charges sometime in February.

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