INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Feb. 12, 2016) – A political candidate was found not guilty after being accused of stalking a rival.
John Couch, who ran for the 92nd House district seat, was accused of harassing his opponent, incumbent Karlee Macer, during the 2014 campaign. Couch was found not guilty Friday on multiple charges, including stalking, forgery and resisting law enforcement.
According to court documents, Couch worked at Liberty Tax Service. Macer said he stalked her at that office as she was filing taxes with her husband. Other encounters also made her uncomfortable, court documents said, such as when Couch showed up at the house chambers and campaign events. He was also accused of calling her personal cell phone to demand a debate. Couch was arrested in October 2014.
According to our media partners at the Indy Star, Judge Kurt Eisgruber said Couch’s actions didn’t qualify as stalking.
“John Couch was running a campaign for office, not a campaign to stalk Rep. Macer,” Eisgruber said.
Macer testified in a bench trial last month, but she wasn’t present for Friday’s verdict. Her legal team said they were disappointed with the decision and conceded that stalking cases can be difficult to prove.