Victim in Potential Hate Crime Stalking Case Tearfully Pleads, ‘No One Can Guarantee He will Do Nothing to Me’

By Karisa Cortez and Ankita Joshi 

WOODLAND, CA – The alleged victim in a felony stalking case came forward Monday in Yolo County Superior Court to address the judge, claiming that “no one can guarantee that he will do nothing to me.” 

Defendant John Tomasello was present for a bail review hearing for two felony charges of stalking with a temporary restraining order in effect, stalking, and six charges of contempt of court. 

Both felony charges held enhancements for hate crime/prejudice motivations that the victim acknowledged in her statement.

However, upon a request by the defense, the bail review hearing date was continued to June 21.

Still, the victim chose to address the court and give her prepared statement on the reasons why Tomasello should not be given bail and should remain in jail. 

Judge Tom Dyer and victim support advocate, Angelica Saldana, allowed the victim to address the court with her statement. 

As the victim prepared to give her statement she became emotional and had to apologize to Judge Dyer for having a difficult time. In the background, Saldana could be heard encouraging the victim to read off of the statement she had prepared. 

Before she began it was apparent that those present were affected by the victim’s demeanor. It appeared as though some people might have been holding back tears of their own. 

“I came to the United States with lots of wishes and the hope to…” began the victim before trailing off as she became more emotional, which caused Judge Dyer to ask her to speak as slowly as possible. 

“I came to the United States to live in peace.  I am living in this country for 10 years as a caretaker for my mother. I never had a problem until January, 2021. It is not easy for me to take care of my mother. She is 100 percent disabled,” stated the victim as she became more composed. 

Not only does the victim’s mother suffer from multiple medical conditions, but her anxiety has increased in the past year as a result of the situation with defendant Tomasello. 

“By March, April, May, June, John’s behavior has been crazy. He hurts me, sir. I thought it’s better, I move from this apartment. I tried looking for another apartment, sir. But it’s so hard for me, like for the rent. Also, I have to change my mom’s doctor and everything. This is not easy for me…It is too hard for me,” continued the victim. 

The victim also noted in her statement that Tomasello has been warned by another judge to not contact her or her mother, both the temporary restraining order and  the judge’s warning have not done much to deter Tomasello’s stalking and harassment, she said. 

“He is daily continue to harass me. He is never cared about that restraining order that I have … the judge gave him warning in front of me,” she stated. 

During this part of her statement, defendant Tomasello could be heard sighing loudly in the courtroom, asking, “Is she speaking English?” 

However, the victim continued by adding that “he has never listened to me.”

As Judge Dyer began to thank her for her statement, the victim asked to add one more thing. 

 “He is all the time walk around the front of the hallway. He is just 100 feet far from my apartment. How am I responsible  to know if he is released from jail and that I would be safe? He cannot do anything physically to me. And I don’t want something happen to my mom because of me and I will never forgive myself. He give me very hard time for six months, sir,” she continued. 

As the victim finished her statement, she became more and more emotional, and sounded extremely distressed. 

“Should I take care of my mom or should I focus on him? … I am just one person that I take care of my mom because I don’t have any family members to support me, to help me, sir. But I don’t know what kind of person he is … because of him my mom goes to ER because of high blood pressure, ” she adds. 

As the victim explained the issues her mother has been facing with her blood pressure due to  the harassment, she added that Tomasello has been targeting her because of her religion. 

“Many time I report to the law enforcement, I told him that he attacking my religion … attack my reputation.  No one can guarantee that he will do nothing to me, sir. And after that it will be too late, sir.” 

After thanking her for her statement, Judge Dyer informed the victim that the bail review hearing is set for June 21 in Dept. 8 at 9 a.m. for a pre-hearing conference. 

Karisa Cortez is an incoming fourth year Politics major with minors in History and Media Studies at the University of San Francisco. She is from San Jose, CA, and is currently living in San Francisco.

Ankita Joshi is a second-year student at the University of San Francisco, pursuing a major in International Studies and a minor in Political Science. She is originally from Sacramento, CA.

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About The Author

Koda is an incoming senior at UC Berkeley, majoring in Philosophy and minoring in Rhetoric. He is from Ventura, CA.

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