By Alan Vargas
RIVERSIDE, CA — Judge Kristi Hester granted the alleged victim of a domestic violence case the request for a restraining order against her husband, due to physical abuse and harassment.
On July 30, Issac Haso appeared before the court, facing domestic violence and harassment allegations against the victim.
Before the June 30 incident, previous events precipitated the victim to request a restraining order against the defendant.
According to the victim’s testimony, who also happens to be the mother of his daughter, “He kept telling me he wanted to move back into my place, that morning he dropped off my daughter and kind of went like this.” The judge asked to clarify what she meant, and the victim explained that the defendant had thrown an elbow toward her face.
The victim later revealed that the defendant had come back hours later after having that confrontation with him earlier that day. “He then came back around later that day, around six or seven, I do not remember. He knocked on the door and tried to walk in, and I told him that someone was there. My friend Laura and her son were there, and so was my daughter.”
In the victim’s testimonial, the defendant choked her for about six seconds. “He told me then to come out. I came out and stood in front of the camera, and he told me to come over there, which was the other side of my front door where there aren’t cameras facing that way. I said ‘no’, and I think by the third time, he grabbed me by my stomach area and lifted me up and then took me to the side where the cameras are not there, and he choked me. He grabbed me by the neck and lifted me up for about six seconds.”
The victim continued to declare that the defendant had stalked and harassed her by dropping in unexpectedly and “parking right in front of her car.”
The victim brought pictures to the judge’s attention, which showcased the physical and visible injuries that the defendant had left on her.
Judge Kristi Hester stated, “So I’ve looked at three photos of the victim’s neck, and you do see some red scratches to the right side of her neck.”
The victim had petitioned to have her daughter included as a protected party on the restraining order. Based on her request, she mentioned that her husband was a threat to her and her daughter, and that her daughter had witnessed her father choke her before.
The defense attorney then went on to ask the victim some questions for further cross-examination. The victim alleged to have been assaulted, harassed, threatened by phone and text messages, and has had the defendant show up at her home unannounced—also calling her, saying, “You know I am going to kill you one day, right?”
The attorney proceeded with questions concerning previous disputes with the defendant. Judge Kristi Hester quickly interposed, declaring, “I am not overly concerned with the incidents that happened before the prior request for dismissal. I am more concerned with the present conduct, so I am not concerned, though I feel that it shows a pattern of behavior by the defendant.”
The victim gave personal insight on the defendant and his moving out after the confrontation. “You indicated Isaac had moved out on April 4, and did you know where he went with his dad?”
“Yes,” said the victim. The defendant had then rented an Airbnb house for two weeks after moving out. The victim was then asked if the house the defendant had rented was a house that was meant to reconcile and reinvigorate their marriage, and the victim quickly answered with a “no.”
The attorney next asked the victim if she had ever brought her personal belongings to the house, whether they were engaging in intercourse and if the defendant had bought her birth control pills.
“Isn’t it true you were having intercourse ’till about this June?” asked the attorney.
The judge advanced to stop the examination and said “unless you are alleging that she
engaged in intercourse with him after these most recent incidents, which would show she was not in fear of him, then it’s not relevant.
“If on June 30 of this year, which is the most recent allegation of domestic violence, and she is saying that she is afraid of him and wants a restraining order. Thus, you’re going to introduce evidence that between June 30 and today’s court date, she engaged in sexual intercourse with him, then that would be something relevant to my decision. If she had sex with him last year at the time that they were trying to reconcile, then I am not concerned about that. That’s not relevant to the current request of the restraining order,” said Judge Hester.
The judge proceeded to question the integrity of the defendant’s lawyers by stating the
following, “Is your argument that because she continued to either engage in sexual relationships with him or was going to reconcile with him, it was okay for him to put hands on her throat? Because otherwise, I will not worry. In his response, it sounds to me that he admitted to doing what she said he did, and his perception of it is just different. He admits to getting in her face.
“I held her face with my hands. I didn’t violently grab her, but I did pull her towards me,” stated the Judge.
Next, the defendant was brought in for questioning. The defendant allegedly went to the victim’s house because their daughter had told her father that another man was in their bed. “I was emotionally sad,” mentioned the defendant.
“I asked her if she could come outside because I knew my daughter was inside, and I don’t like arguing in front of my daughter. So when she stepped outside, she leaned against the wall, and I told her I wanted to talk to her and told her to ‘come here, I want to talk to you.’ I pulled my hands around her waist and pulled her towards me,” he explained.
“Were you squeezing her really hard?” asked the DA. “I don’t want to say that I was. I could have. I don’t want to say yes or no,” the defendant replied.
During the examination, the defendant denied any physical altercations prior to the June 30 incident, which gave rise to the restraining order against him.
After hearing the defendant’s testimonies, the judge indicated “you’re kind of justifying your behavior, and that’s what I have an issue with.”
Ultimately, the judge decided to grant the restraining order due to the defendant’s self-incriminating written statements, which reported his “applying pressure to her face.”
Judge Hester proceeded to make her final judgment. “In comparing that with your testimony and what you said in your response, it seems to me that what she’s alleging occurred is more likely to have happened.”
There had been sufficient evidence to grant the restraining order protecting the victim, but the daughter will not be included in the protective party. The restraining order will be effective for three years from the court hearing date, which is July 30, and will expire on July 30, 2024, at 12:01 am.
The restraining order restricts the defendant from harassing, striking, threatening, assaulting or keeping the victim under surveillance, etc.
The defendant is required to enroll in and pay for a 52-week domestic violence intervention program, which must be approved under Penal Code section 1203.097, and he must enroll by no later than August 31.
Because both parties were present, there was no need for additional service.
The parties are going to be referred to meet with the recommended child’s custody counselor, and the next available date for mediation is September 30. Both parties concurred to appear in the same department on October 14 at 8:15 am.
Alan Vargas is a third-year transfer student at UCLA, majoring in Political science and English. He is from San Jose, CA.