BOSTON – A Boston court has sentenced a Canadian man to nearly seven years in prison for what prosecutors describe as a relentless campaign of terror on his American ex-fiancee.
Phillip Andrew Bauer received a sentence on Thursday of 82 months to be followed by three years probation — U.S. prosecutors had asked for a 10-year sentence.
Prosecutors had asked for the longer sentence saying it was needed to keep the Kingston, Ont., man from killing the woman and her family.
Court heard Bauer battered the woman after their relationship ended and vowed to kill her and two of her sisters if the family does not give him thousands of dollars he believes he is owed.
Prosecutors say the woman, who is not identified in the federal court documents, lives in constant fear, as Bauer continued sending threatening letters even after his arrest in February 2011.
Bauer pleaded guilty earlier this year to two counts of stalking and one count of mailing threatening communications to the woman and her family.
Prosecutors said the woman has dropped out of college, relocated and changed her name but still lives in constant fear.
“Defendant is a dangerous bully who enjoys terrorizing innocent people,” the prosecutors wrote in their sentencing memorandum.
“His contempt for the law and punishment does not deter him from acting on his impulses. Defendant feels that he has nothing to lose and thus he sees no downside in waging his campaign of terror against an innocent family.”
One member of the family was too frightened to even submit a victim impact statement to the court, prosecutors say, but the woman’s mother and stepfather describe the cloud of fear under which the whole family lives. Excerpts of their statements are in the prosecutors’ sentencing arguments.
“My five stepdaughters and their spouses are frightened for themselves, their children and their siblings by the prospect of this self-described relentless maniac hunting them and have taken steps in and around their homes, workplaces and communities to protect themselves and those they love,” the stepfather wrote.
The family asked the government not to tell the court what steps they’ve taken to protect themselves for fear Bauer will take them into consideration “when,” not if, he hunts them down, prosecutors say.
The ex-fiancee’s mother wrote that her grandchildren can’t play in their own backyards and she hasn’t seen her daughter smile since the threats began.
“Her self-confidence is gone,” the mother wrote. “It makes it very difficult for her to plan out her life, when she’s afraid she’s going to be killed next month.”
The threats are “chilling” to anyone who reads them, prosecutors say.
The threats began after the former couple got into an argument at their Arlington, Mass., home about their upcoming wedding and Bauer threatened to kill the woman if she left him, prosecutors say.
He said he would cut off her head if she contacted police and had him deported, according to an FBI affidavit, which says he was in the U.S. illegally.
The woman fled to her sister’s home in California and got a restraining order against Bauer, but he wrote that neither restraining orders nor jail would stop him.
“You and your family are going to pay for what you did to me,” Bauer wrote in April 2011, according to the prosecutors.
“If they don’t pay me what is owed to me I am going to kill you and one of your sisters. If I can’t find you I will kill two of your sisters and let you live with that guilt.”
In the letter apparently written from behind bars Bauer said he sacrificed his youth so his ex-fiancee could go to school and become successful, and is now demanding $50,000 so he can get an education or he will kill her.
“I have sent multiple letters with no response,” the prosecutors quote him as writing on another occasion. “I am getting angrier every day. Do you think some imaginary line on a map is going to stop me from coming?”