GREAT FALLS – The case against Juan Anastasio Rodriguez, who violated an order of protection by contacting a woman more than a thousand times, has been dismissed.
In February, Rodriguez was charged with 95 counts of violating a protective order. Judge Greg Pinski put the order into effect during a hearing in October of 2017.
The defense argued that the charges should be dismissed because Rodriguez could not be at the hearing due to being transported between jails. The state argued that Rodriguez knowingly kept violating the order even though he knew it was in place.
“The only decision that this court can make is whether or not the order that was granted on October 6th denied him his procedural rights to due process. If it did, the order was invalid,” Judge Elizabeth Best said.
Judge Best found the order to be invalid and dismissed the charges against Rodriguez.
The order is still in effect at this time.
Rodriguez remains in jail for his earlier rape conviction.
Reporting by Margaret DeMarco for MTN News
(MARCH 15, 2018) Juan Anastasio Rodriguez has been charged in Great Falls with 95 counts of violation of an order of protection after he allegedly called a woman more than 1,000 times in violation of the order.
Rodriguez was found guilty in December 2017 on a charge of sexual intercourse without consent; that charge stemmed from an incident that happened in 2002 and involved a 15-year old girl.
The new charges are the result of phone calls that court document say began on December 6, 2017, just before his trial was scheduled to begin. The order of protection for the woman identified as “Jane Doe” in court documents went into effect in October 2016.
In the course of preparing for the December 2017 rape trial, attorneys for Rodriguez listed Doe as a defense witness. On December 7th, a GFPD officer contacted Doe in order to ascertain the subject matter of her expected trial testimony. Doe said that she was not going to testify, despite the request of Rodriguez’s attorneys.
That prompted a review of Rodriguez’s phone calls from the Cascade County Detention Center, which revealed that he had begun calling Doe on December 6, 2017. On December 7th, according to court documents, Doe reminded Rodriguez that there was still an active restraining order in effect, so she could not come to his trial.
Over the next several weeks, Rodriguez called hundreds of times, occasionally threatening her and using profanity, according to court documents.
The charging documents state: “In total, the Defendant attempted to contact Jane Doe a total of 1024 times from the Cascade County Detention Center between December 6, 2017, and January 11, 2018, constituting approximately 1 misdemeanor and 1023 felony violations of an order of protection.”