A judge on Thursday threw out a cyberstalking charge against an ex-Tara High School teacher who sent emails to former co-workers quoting violent and death-focused passages from Shakespeare plays.
State District Judge Bonnie Jackson issued a stern warning to Ruston Michael Rhorer after ruling that his actions did not rise to the level of cyberstalking.
“You now know … that the recipients of your emails do not want any communication from you in any form,’’ the judge told the 30-year-old Rhorer.
“Correct,’’ he replied.
Jackson said Rhorer could be arrested again for cyberstalking if he sends additional emails to his former co-workers.
If such an arrest occurs, she said, the facts of Rhorer’s 2010 arrest could then become “relevant.’’
“I don’t want you to get the idea that what you did you should do again,’’ the judge stressed. “You’re being put on notice.’’
“I understand,’’ Rhorer responded.
Prosecutor Will Morris said after court that the East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney’s Office will not appeal the judge’s decision.
“Obviously we agree with her decision,’’ Rhorer’s court-appointed attorney, Amanda Love, said. “It was the right result.’’
Tara High faculty members received multiple emails from Rhorer in March 2010 quoting “Julius Caesar’’ and “Hamlet’’ as well as quoting from a musical work that refers to Julius Caesar, an affidavit of probable cause states.
The quotes contained “very suggestive threatening rhetoric’’ depicting “violence, death and revenge,’’ the affidavit says.
Jackson said the emails were not overtly threatening.
An assistant principal at Tara told an East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office detective that Rhorer worked at Tara during the 2008-09 school year, exhibited odd behavior and had “confrontational issues” with her and other faculty members who received the emails, according to the affidavit.
The assistant principal said she and other faculty members were fearful that Rhorer meant them harm, the affidavit states.
When sheriff’s deputies arrested Rhorer, he said the emails were “friendly emails and meant no harm,” according to the affidavit, and that he was just sharing his “knowledge and love of English.”
After leaving Tara, Rhorer worked less than a month at Woodlawn High School, resigning Aug. 31, 2009.