Jury Finds Woman Not Guilty After Ex-Partner Lies About Existence of Restraining Order

By The Vanguard Staff

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – A San Francisco jury late last week found a 28 year old woman not guilty of violating a civil restraining order because she believed her ex-partner told her the truth that the civil order was no longer in place.

But the ex-partner lied, argued Deputy Public Defender Stephanie Tan to the jury, which deliberated just three hours before acquitting the woman, who, said Tan, who had “no knowledge that the restraining order was still in place and thus could not have formed the intent to violate it.”

“Ms. Tan and her team skillfully presented the fuller context of this altercation. We are grateful that the jury understood that our client did not knowingly violate the restraining order,” said San Francisco Public Defender Mano Raju.

According to the SF Public Defender’s Office, the “two were in a relationship for eight years, and in 2019, the man went to civil court to obtain a restraining order against the woman, which she observed. In 2020, when the two ran into each other and got back together, he told her that he had the restraining order removed.”

But, said the PD, in January of this year, “the man called for a police escort to get some of his things out of the woman’s car after a disagreement. When police ran her name, they found the active restraining order and arrested her. She spent four days in jail, was released initially on electronic monitoring, and has had to check in with Assertive Case Management and attend classes on a weekly basis since then.”

“The law is supposed to act as a shield and not a sword, and her ex-partner used the law against her as a weapon to manipulate the situation to get what he wanted, leaving my client to suffer unnecessary consequences,” said PD Tan. “My client and I fought this case all the way to trial because she had been lied to and set up by her ex-partner, and the jury vindicated her.”

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