-- A new home for a California couple turned into a nightmare when a jilted neighbor allegedly signed them up for sex acts online, sent strangers to their home and canceled their mail, according to a felony complaint in San Diego court.
Now the woman accused of the spiteful hoaxes - who is scheduled to appear in court this week - could face prison time, if convicted.
Kathy Rowe, a mom who lived nearby and had put an offer on the same house, was devastated when she didn’t get the keys to what she describes in court documents as her “forever home,” according to prosecutors. Instead, another couple, a husband and wife who asked that their names not be used, moved into the Carmel Valley house in September 2011.
Soon after, their new home, which they bought for $779,000, was relisted for sale online, they began to receive unwanted magazines, books and junk mail addressed to “Jacques Arse,” and a man looking for sex appeared at their doorstep, according to court documents. The man, identified as J.M., was responding to an online sex ad that featured the wife's photo allegedly stolen from social media.
“Not for the faint of heart,” read one online ad titled “Carmel Valley Freak Show,” according to court documents. “Come see me during the day while my husband is at work and we can get our freak on.”
Rowe was arrested in October 2012 and charged with felony counts of solicitation of rape and sodomy and misdemeanor counts of harassment and using another person’s information. She entered a not guilty plea to the charges and filed a request earlier this summer for the court to dismiss the felony counts. Although a magistrate at a preliminary hearing did dismiss those charges, an appellate court concluded that the magistrate erred and ordered the charges reinstated.
The next court hearing is scheduled for Friday.
If convicted, San Diego County Deputy District Attorney Brendan McHugh says Rowe could face nine years in prison.
Through her attorney, Rowe declined an interview with ABC News. The homeowners have also not responded to a request for comment.
They filed a civil complaint against Rowe that was settled for an undisclosed amount, McHugh said. Their attorney declined to comment.
Testimony provided at the preliminary hearing in February 2013 details the extent of the alleged harassment the couple faced after moving into their new home for a span of 10 months. In December 2011, they said their normal flood of Christmas gifts and cards abruptly stopped.
Rowe also allegedly sent Valentine’s Day cards from the husband to his female neighbors. During that hearing, he recalled one of their husbands showing him the card.
“He called to me and said, ‘Thank you for the Valentine’s card,’” the victim said during the hearing. “And I was confused. I didn’t know what he was talking about. So he invited me over to his house, and he showed me the card. And on the card, it was written, ‘Thinking of you, love JR.’ And I wasn’t – I wasn’t quite sure what was going on until he showed me the envelope, and it was addressed to his wife, and it was from me.”
Rowe has said she never knew she was scaring the couple, according to police, and called her actions "stupid pranks."
“Losing that house was devastating to my family and broke our hearts,” Rowe wrote in a statement provided to prosecution.
Rowe had also placed an offer on the house but the couple's offer was accepted first. Rowe even wrote the couple a letter offering $100,000 on top of the selling price, but the couple never responded, according to court documents.