A 31-year-old man who has been stalking a woman since they were both in middle school was sentenced Tuesday in King County Superior Court to 26-1/2 years in prison.
Facing the man who has stalked her since she was in eighth grade, Tracy Lundeen tried to deliver the message that has eluded him for 17 years.
“To Mr. Moul, please listen to me,” Lundeen said in court Tuesday. “I don’t love you. I don’t like you. I don’t intend to ever be with you. Please quit trying to contact me or my other family members. We want to be left alone.”
A King County judge then sentenced Shawn Moul to 26 ½ years in prison, a term that Senior Deputy Prosector Alex Voorhees concedes is the harshest she’s seen for a stalking case.
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But Superior Court Judge Patrick Oishi noted the impact of Moul’s years of unwanted attention on Lundeen and her family. “I think this is the type of case that does scream out for a very serious imposition of sentence,” he said.
Moul began stalking Lundeen in 1994, when she was 13, shortly after they met at McKnight Middle School in Renton. Moul misinterpreted Lundeen’s offer to help him with his homework and began following her, behavior that continued when both were in high school.
He also wrote scores of letters to Lundeen and her family over the years, some filled with suicide threats, demands for Lundeen to contact him and requests for an apology for a perceived insult from middle school.
Despite a no-contact order, Moul persisted, and in 2001 was convicted of stalking Lundeen and repeatedly violating the order. He was sentenced to eight years in prison.
About two years after his release from prison he resumed his efforts to contact Lundeen and her family.
Last summer, a King County jury convicted Moul of two counts of felony stalking and 19 counts of violating an anti-harassment order by sending letters to Lundeen and her sister.
Throughout Tuesday’s sentencing, Moul, 31, slumped in his chair and kept his eyes lowered. He didn’t look toward Lundeen and rarely looked at Oishi, the judge. He recently spent a term at Western State Hospital undergoing a mental-competency evaluation, and was deemed competent for sentencing, according to court testimony.
Defense attorney Robert Jourdan told Oishi that Moul has no support from his family, and no job skills or education. He said that Moul believes prison is the “safest place” for him.
“Your honor, this started all from a phone call … all I did was contact people,” Moul said when given a chance to speak. “As my attorney has said, I don’t mind being in custody for the rest of my life.”
Neither Moul nor his attorney objected to the lengthy term. The sentence includes 7 ½ years for the two felony counts and 19 years for the misdemeanor counts.
Lundeen, her father and sister smiled broadly when the sentence was announced.
Lundeen is working with Attorney General Rob McKenna to push for greater protections for stalking victims in the form of a “stalking-protection order.”
Stalking victims like Lundeen, who have no history of dating their stalker, can only apply for a civil anti-harassment order — the same kind of legal protection offered to squabbling neighbors. If McKenna’s measure passes the state Legislature, victims would be able to petition the courts for a stalking-protection order, which would bar stalkers from coming within a specified distance of their victims and ban them from the victim’s home, school or work.
While Lundeen is thrilled that Moul has been put away for a long time, she remains doubtful that her ordeal is completely over.
Until Moul is dead, she said, “nothing changes.”
Information from Seattle Times archives is included in this report.
Jennifer Sullivan: 206-464-8294 or email@example.com. On Twitter @SeattleSullivan.