Geauga County man to be charged with telecommunication harrassment
Dave Arnold, newsnet5.com
11:30 AM, Jun 14, 2013
SOUTH RUSSELL, Ohio - Following a complaint by Dr. Mark Rood, a family physician in South Russell, Geauga County prosecutors are expected to issue a summons for Newbury resident Ken Parker.
South Russell police spokesperson Mike Kramer said after investigating a complaint by Dr. Rood of online harassment stemming from a video Parker posted with inflammatory commentary accompanied by pictures of Rood's building, name and business, charges are expected to soon be issued by prosecutors.
Protesters have targeted the medical building, owned by Rood, because of one tenant operating in another part of Rood's building. The office where The Family Planning Association, a non-profit, federally regulated service in business for 43 years, operates its services to low-income women is part of a time-share with four other medical tenants. Family Planning serves patients there two days out of each month.
Rood says Parker's video and voice-over also targeted him. After reviewing evidence, police and prosecutors agreed. No other protesters were cited in the complaint taken to the prosecutor's office.
"Mr Parker is the only one being charged in this incident. He's being charged with one count of telecommunications harassment and that is as a result of him posting a video of a protest and the commentary that was associated with that on his website," said Kramer.
A group spokesperson protesting Wednesday, Pastor of Doers of the Word Baptist Church, Ernie Sanders, was mentioned along with other Geauga and Lake County right-to-life groups in a cease and desist letter mailed out on April 12, 2013 by attorney Stephan G. Thomas on behalf of Dr. Rood.
Sanders said his group protesting Wednesday will continue protesting the lease of The Family Planning Association at Rood's medical building, distancing himself and his group with what Parker, who was seated across the street with a video camera, might be charged.
"These people...I know they call themselves Family Planning, but understand that basically it's Planned Parenthood with a different name and we don't want them in our neighborhood. They've been run out of several places already. We don't want them in here. They give young girls, as the sign says, the morning after pill...and all the morning after pill does is just makes it very easy for pedophiles, for these people who are having sex with these young girls to hide the evidence," said Sanders.
Sanders said he had been misquoted by local papers.
"Look, I reach a lot of people every day on the radio, been on the air for 42 years now. In no way do we give out false information. We never said that this place does abortion. We never said he's an abortionist. We had nothing to do with that." "We are out here because we are pro-life," said Sanders.
But, Dr. Rood and his building's tenants still were problems for Sanders.
"Before the election, this little area that you see right here, there must have been ten or more Obama signs here. It's my opinion that this fellow right here, in my opinion, is trying to make himself some kind of a champion for the extreme far left and we just don't want that out here," added Sanders.
In an interview later Wednesday following the protest which ended around 9 a.m., Dr. Rood, while satisfied that Parker is being dealt with thoroughly by prosecutors, said he is stressed that he and his tenants are still targeted by harassing mail and comments each day to his staff and patients.
Living in fear of what what Rood said might be extremists, he is extra careful walking to his car, keeping his office locked at all times when working after-hours.
"The protests have been ongoing. The protests have been increasingly aggressive and we live in a crazy, mixed-up world. The protesters do not seem to respond to rational thought in the sense that we've explained what we do, and what is not done, and they still protest. That to me seems irrational and I am concerned people may take matters into their own hands," said Rood.
Parker's video previously posted on his website, linked to many other pro-life groups he is associated with in the area, was an example Rood pointed out of how some people whom may not even be unassociated, could read inciting messages with his name attached in images and text, possibly ending in violence.
"I'm the owner of this building. I'm obligated by contract to these tenants and can't change that if I wanted to. A group that is dedicated to helping women, low-income and those in need of medical services, a group that has done nothing wrong is not someone I am going to run out because of protests," said Dr. Rood.
The shock of first seeing Parker's video still is a tough pill for Rood to swallow.
"There was a video posted on YouTube, online, and on three websites that accused the owner of promoting baby killing, or running a satanic baby killing center here in South Russell," said Rood. "When I heard about it, I just about fell out of my chair. I was incredulous."