NEWBURYPORT — A local woman charged with harassing Georgetown police Chief Donald Cudmore saw her motion to dismiss the offenses denied by a judge Wednesday during a lengthy hearing in Newburyport District Court.
Michele Velleman, 50, of Elm Street, Georgetown, was arraigned in Haverhill District Court in June 2020 on four counts of threatening, witness intimidation, stalking and making annoying phone calls. The case was transferred to Newburyport District Court to avoid a conflict of interest.
She was released without bail but ordered not to post on social media and not to call 911 except for a legitimate emergency.
At a later court date, she was ordered not to contact, directly or indirectly, Essex County prosecutor Gabrielle Foote Clark after the prosecutor said Velleman left 13 “aggressive, inappropriate and escalating” voice messages on Foote Clark’s office phone earlier this fall.
While also facing criminal charges, Velleman was served with a restraining order by Cudmore that orders her to have no contact with him.
Since Velleman’s arraignment, there have been at least two motions filed by Essex County prosecutors to revoke her release for failing to meet court-appointed requirements. Both motions were denied by a judge.
In April 2020, Cudmore alerted state police that for more than 2½ years, Velleman allegedly had been harassing and making threatening statements to him, his wife and family.
The alleged harassment began in response to Cudmore’s investigation of her claims that her ex-boyfriend, then-Georgetown police Detective Adam Raymond, was harassing and abusing her.
Raymond, a Newburyport resident, resigned from the department in 2017 amid claims he stalked and harassed Velleman. But Raymond is not facing any criminal charges, a fact Velleman mentioned in court Wednesday.
In the current case, Cudmore stated that Velleman, using several different names, posted “thousands” of social media links on Facebook and three YouTube videos containing what he called “inaccurate information, lies and fabricated material concerning her disdain for me, my family and the Georgetown Police Department.”
“As discussed, this case has been ongoing for almost three years now and she has sent me over 1,500 emails,” Cudmore wrote in his memo to state police. “The majority of these emails have been harassing in nature and directed towards me. Additionally, some of the emails have been threatening towards my family and me.”
Among the social media posts were claims that Cudmore “killed three squirrels” and posted them on the door of a selectman’s house and that the entire department was covering up what she called the “chief’s criminal acts as they are criminals as well,” according to Cudmore’s report to state police.
To cover her tracks, Velleman used nine email domain names and sent so many emails to the department, a tactic Cudmore called “email bombing,” that it clogged the department’s email server. On April 3, 2020, alone, she sent 30 emails, according to Cudmore’s report.
During the hearing Wednesday, Velleman spent about an hour trying to prove her motion only for Martin to repeatedly stop her to say she was arguing matters meant for trial. She claimed not to have sent harassing emails or social media posts adding that the only messages she sent were to report “crimes.”
“None of those things happened and there’s no evidence to prove it,” Velleman said.
But Martin said Foote Clark, who was standing a few feet away from Velleman, had “cleared the hurdle” in proving there was enough probable cause for the matter to continue to trial. He then denied the motion and scheduled a hearing for Jan. 12.
Dave Rogers is a reporter with the Daily News of Newburyport. Email him at: email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @drogers41008.