Calgary Herald

Tuesday, July 23, 2002

Stalker to serve 18 months in jail

Woman apologizes for torment she caused

Emma Poole
Calgary Herald

A woman dubbed by Calgary police as one of the most prolific stalkers they've ever seen was sentenced to two years less a day for relentlessly harassing a local dentist and his parents.

A bespectacled Reagan Charchuk apologized to provincial court Judge Gerald Meagher for her actions and said she now knows what she did was inappropriate.

"There was a time in my life that I was extremely hurt," Charchuk said from the prisoner's box. "I did things I am very ashamed of."

For two years, Charchuk stalked and harassed her former flame after she discovered he was dating another woman.

The 32-year-old dentist, as well as his mother and father, were threatened and tormented by Charchuk after the brief affair between the two ended badly in the fall of 2000.

"I believe his goal was to get me in bed," said Charchuk. "Everyone in Calgary knows he accomplished that."

She will serve 18 months, as the judge gave her credit for time served while awaiting trial.

Charchuk met the unnamed dentist while working as a dental hygienist in September 2000.

She had just broken up with her long-term boyfriend and the dentist asked her out.

After initially declining, she agreed, and their relationship blossomed. But the pair broke up when Charchuk discovered the dentist's secret -- he was seeing another woman.

She left 50 messages on his answering machine that day -- including 35 in a row -- full of threats, obscenities and abuse.

During previous court proceedings, court heard Charchuk phoned the dentist and his parents numerous times. She also bought flowers and pizza using other people's credit cards, sending them to the dentist.

She pleaded guilty earlier this year to punching her former lover in the eye during a brief meeting at Market Mall, ignoring a restraining order and advising an undercover police constable how to harass a man.

Charchuk, whose father sat in the front row of the courtroom on Monday, has admitted writing more than 100 letters, on three separate occasions, claiming the dentist had HIV and was spreading it to patients, and had molested her imaginary daughter.

The letters -- all untrue -- were sent to businesses near the dentist's workplace and to his neighbours.

Meagher said Charchuk was likely a high risk for continued harassment if not put behind bars.

The judge said she blatantly disregarded all court orders and her actions toward the dentist and his parents became increasingly "more devious."

"It's important to note protection of the public is paramount," said Meagher. "(Charchuk has) held herself out to be above the law."

He chastised Charchuk -- who could be seen applying a fresh coat of lipstick while awaiting sentencing -- for her lack of remorse for the crime until her apology in open court on Monday.

Along with the provincial jail sentence, Charchuk will be on probation for three years following her release.

She's banned from being within a five-block radius of the dentist's home or the residence of his parents, and must remain in her home from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. unless at work or at a counselling appointment for "anger management" issues.

A psychological assessment ordered by the court rates her as a "high risk" to continue the harassment.

Charchuk's lawyer, Mitchell Stephensen, had asked for a conditional sentence order to spare his client jail time.

Crown prosecutors had sought imprisonment of two to three years.

Charchuk must provide a DNA sample to the national data bank and was banned from owning a cellphone or pager.

"I'm sorry to the people. I've hurt a lot of innocent people," said Charchuk before she kissed her father and was led out of the courtroom. "I did a lot of things I thought I'd never do in my life."

Charchuk's victim did not return calls from the Herald on Monday.

© Copyright 2002 Calgary Herald