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Marino to be tried in WSU stalking case


Camille Marino is charged with aggravated stalking and unlawful positing of a message with aggravating circumstances.

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Camille Marino (48) was handcuffed to a chair in 36th District Court after Judge Lynise Bryant-Weeks ruled she had not been complying with a court order barring her from posting comments about WSU professor Donal O’Leary on social media sites.

Marino is charged with aggravated stalking and unlawful positing of a message with aggravating circumstances. Each felony charge carries a penalty of up to five years in prison. Marino is also charged with a 30-day misdemeanour offence of trespassing. Prosecutors allege Marino was harassing O’Leary and posting comments and his home address on her Negotiation is Over blog and social media sites. Defence has argued Marino has a right to political speech which is protected under the First Amendment.

Bryant-Weeks said Marino’s actions exceeded politically protected speech and “went to direct threats”. In court, prosecutors also produced a 2 July post on Marino’s blog that links to an article by another animal activist that brings up a picture of O’Leary being killed. The judge in June ordered Marino to stop posting on the website.

O’Leary testified that the photo depicted him with his eye gouged out and buried in sand with his mouth sewn shut. The judge increased Marino’s bond from $25,000, 10 percent, to a $500,000 bond, 10 per cent. “It was a direct violation of my order,” Bryant-Weeks said following a short bond hearing. “She has proven to me that she has no regard for the law. Today it is going to cost her.”

O’Leary, who does research that involves animals, filed a personal protection order against Marino in October 2011. She was arrested in Florida in February and later extradited to Michigan after she violated the order. In March 2012, she was ordered to remove any threatening statements about O’Leary from her social media sites.

Prosecutors levied criminal charges in May 2012 after she chained herself to the front door of the university’s undergraduate library to protest against being banned from the campus. Marino was arrested on the school’s campus in Detroit on the same day she’d been expected in court over O’Leary’s protection order. Marino has said she is convinced that scientists like O’Leary are secretly subjecting animals to unconscionable acts by conducting experiments on them.