Victim Requests Peaceful Contact Despite Asking for Restraining Order Previously

By Sam Zou

FRESNO, CA – Claiming that her daughter misses her father and that “it was all a misunderstanding,” the victim in a domestic violence case asked Judge Samuel J. Dalesandro, Jr., to issue a peaceful contact order and annul the previous restraining order the victim requested against defendant James Anthony Osborne.

Osborne appeared at the Fresno County Superior Court Dept. 13 this week for his pretrial hearing regarding his misdemeanor charge for battery on Feb. 8. The victim, who appeared to be Osborne’s children’s mother, was also present in the courtroom.

Judge Dalesandro allowed the victim to address the court before making any additional decision on this matter.

Per the victim’s request and in agreement with Deputy District Attorney Taylor Carlson, the court eventually resolved to issue a peaceful contact order in lieu of the restraining order. In addition, however, the court mandated Osborne complete a 12-week anger management program.

When defendant Osborne entered the courtroom, Assistant Public Defender Eric Nicholas Hansen did not expect the hearing to be any more lengthy than a few minutes as he asked the judge to set another pretrial date on Aug. 6 because “we need to do additional investigation for this matter.”

However, things took a turn when Judge Dalesandro asked the confidential victim to approach the stand and address the court.

As the victim slowly approached the stand, Hansen reminded the judge that police reports indicated that there were no visible injuries on the victim in the case, in an attempt to prepare for the victim’s statement.

But the victim did not use the chance to condemn or denounce Osborne, as Hansen apparently expected.

Explaining that although the children and she have an active restraining order against Osborne, it was nothing but a misunderstanding, she said, and pleaded to the court to terminate the active restraining order and instead issue a peaceful contact order so that the defendant could spend time with his children.

The victim first attempted to contextualize what had happened that eventually led Osborne to be charged with one misdemeanor count and ordered to stay away from the victim and her children.

On Feb. 8, the day of the incident, the victim said that she had an appointment with the dentist to get her tooth pulled out and that she was “under heavy anesthesia,” as if to explain why things got quickly heated and physical on that day.

“I’m not looking to press charges, I just want everything to be cordial between us,” said the victim.

During her statement, the victim repeatedly mentioned that “this was all a misunderstanding.” Not only did she wanted her relationship with the defendant to be “cordial,” the victim also explained in front of the court that Osborne is a great father and that “our girl is a really big daddy’s girl,” describing the mental toll she and her daughter endured as Osborne was about to face charges for his crime, and being away from them.

As the victim returned to her seat in the back, DDA Carlson offered a more comprehensive view of the case for an active protective order.

On Feb. 8, DDA Carlson said, Osborne and the victim were in line at the CVS Pharmacy drive through as they were seen fighting over a phone by bystanders. The victim then got out of the car and walked away. The defendant followed closely, allegedly grabbed her hair, pushed her into the car again, and shut the door.

After Osborne drove the car to the corner of the store, the couple got out of the car again. It was the second time when they exited from the car that Osborne allegedly punched the victim in the face, knocking her to the ground, shaking uncontrollably.

On the day of the event, the victim declined to issue an Emergency Protective Order against the defendant.

However, it was only under consultation from a domestic violence advocate that the victim eventually agreed to request a restraining order against Osborne. Adding more confusion and misunderstanding to the entire case, however, the restraining order was soon to be violated at the request of the victim.

On Feb. 15, local dispatch received a call regarding a disturbance involving “a male kicking a female while holding a small child in his arms.”

The police report further showed that Osborne and the victim were outside their grandparents’ house. There were some technical issues with a vehicle, and that Osborne was yelling at the victim outside the car.

So far, police reports and case files have shown that the defendant physically attacked the victim at least twice on two different occasions. Lacking additional explanation, public defender Hansen only reiterated his earlier point—that the official reports showed no physical and visible injuries inflicted upon the victim.

Sensing that the defendant is facing serious accusations, the victim asked the judge for another chance to address the court.

The victim explained that she originally dropped her children at grandma’s house on Feb. 15, unaware that Osborne was also with his family members in the same house at the time as well. When she came back to pick up the children, the victim did not know that the defendant was also present.

Conscious of the active restraining order, the victim attempted to drive away with the children only to find out that her car was not working properly. Desperate for help, the victim asked Osborne to help her jump start the car, saying that “I don’t want to be stranded here.

“I can’t be around you, and I do not want to go back to jail for this,” the victim said the defendant said to her. According to her description, Osborne appeared to be scared and nervous, but he continued to help the victim find another vehicle to jump start the car. While attempting to jump start the car, the police showed up.

Thus, while it appeared to the police that Osborne singlehandedly violated a recently issued restraining order, the victim offered to provide a circumstantial cause to explain why the defendant consciously violated such rules and why she insisted on the whole matter to be a misunderstanding.

After hearing from defendant Osborne, public defender Hansen, DDA Carlson, and the victim, the judge agreed to terminate the restraining order and issued a peaceful contact order.

In addition, however, Judge Dalesandro ordered Osborne to enroll in a 12-week mandatory anger management program as a condition for being out of custody.

Judge Dalesandro also made sure that the defendant understood that a peaceful contact order requires that “you [the defendant] must not harass, strike, threaten, assault, sexually or otherwise, follow, stalk, molest, destroy, or damage her personal overall property.”

The defendant agreed with the terms. He is set for a pretrial hearing Aug. 3 at the same department to submit proof of his progress on the anger management program.

Sam Zou is currently a third year Political Science major student at UCLA. Within the field of political science, he is particularly interested in political economy and international politics. He hopes to contribute his passion for political science through contributing to the local community and beyond.

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