Crime

Pierce County man accused of stalking ex-girlfriend, sending out sexual photos of her

The way his exes tell it, Michael Andrew Hart is no Prince Charming.

Since 2000, at least seven women he’s dated have asked the court for protection from the 43-year-old Graham-area man, all with similar horror stories.

Some alleged he beat them, many accused him of threatening to spread around their intimate photos and all said that to control them, he threatened their safety and that of their families.

Now Pierce County prosecutors allege Hart spread sexually explicit photos of an ex-girlfriend to her Facebook contacts. They charged him Friday with cyberstalking, three counts of stalking, six counts of disclosing intimate images, harassment and four counts of violating a restraining order.

He pleaded not guilty at arraignment, and retired Superior Court Judge Rosanne Buckner, filling in on a temporary basis, set his bail at $300,000.

Court records do not list an attorney for Hart.

The tale of his recent legal trouble began Dec. 14, 2014, when he drove past the Tillicum home of his then-girlfriend as police were there investigating allegations he’d beaten her.

Officers tried to get him to pull over, but he fled to Interstate 5 and made it to Lewis County before he was stopped.

He pleaded guilty in connection with the high-speed chase and was sentenced to 18 months in prison.

Then, according to the Friday charging papers:

He got out of prison Dec. 4, 2015, and the same day contacted his ex-girlfriend’s daughter on Facebook, which violated the family’s restraining order.

He kept violating it, and in February used a fake Facebook account to send the ex-girlfriend sexually explicit photos he’d taken of her.

The woman told police some of the images were sexually humiliating photos taken without her consent. She was unconscious when they were shot, after she had taken sleep medicine.

Eventually she realized Hart had sent the photos and sexual videos of her to all of her Facebook contacts, including family and friends.

In 2015, state lawmakers made it illegal to distribute such images — so-called “revenge porn” — without consent.

The woman told police Hart had distributed similar images he took of her sister and friend.

“She said when she began dating the defendant, she was unaware many women had restraining orders against him,” Deputy Prosecutor Erica Eggertsen wrote in the declaration for determination of probable cause. “When she began living with him, she learned he had anger-management issues, substance abuse issues, including using steroids, and was controlling and abusive.”

Similar accounts were given by six other women Hart has dated, who have filed for protection orders as recently as last week. Three of the requests were granted, three of the women got temporary orders that weren’t made long term, and one woman is seeking a more permanent order.

A woman who got a temporary restraining order Dec. 19 wrote the court that she had known Hart for only a couple of days. They met up to get frozen yogurt in Puyallup, and afterward he drugged and raped her, she alleges.

“States he will shoot up my house and do a drive-by,” the woman wrote. “Also states he knows people that will come and cause damage to the house. Told me that if I pursue the charges with the police, then he might serve a 1-year sentence and when he gets out he will find me and kill me.”

She also said Hart threatened to distribute photos he took of the rape.

Hart’s been accused of making good on threats to distribute sexual photos and videos more than once.

A woman who shares a child with him wrote the court in 2013 that he sent lewd images of her to her family and work, and that he threatened to kill her and burn down her parents’ home.

The court granted her request for a long-term restraining order.

Until the 2014 chase and subsequent conviction, Hart’s only other felony appears to be a 2008 harassment case in which he sent a woman he was dating 166 text and 40 voice messages in five days.

“You’re dead,” one text read. “Leave your work now and go somewhere safe where I can’t find you.”

On top of the recent stalking charges, prosecutors said, Hart is being investigated for sexual assault, harassment, threats to 911 dispatchers and trying to tamper with a witness.

Alexis Krell: 253-597-8268

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