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In the last 2-3 years I have had close to a dozen people who I’ve written blogs about file for harassment orders against me. Judges are not required to grant hearings, and although some of them were denied in the clerk’s officer, other judges have agreed to humor these plaintiffs. None of them have been granted, and this is merely an inconvenience for me to travel around the state and explain to various judges that writing about a person and contacting them are two completely different things. One is free speech, the other is harassment.
In late August I published a blog about a missing 16 year old girl named Marissa St. Angelo from East Providence after she posted on Facebook that she wasn’t missing, and that she had run away from home due to ongoing abuse from her mentally unwell transgender father Ashley (deadname – Anthony).
Her allegations were disturbing, to say the least.
Ashley attempted to profit off of her “disappearance,” without saying what the money was going towards.
But Marissa’s story was corroborated by her older sister Holly, who also alleged in a Change.org petition that she ran away from her father as a teenage mother, and claimed that Ashley uses his transgender identity to gain favorability in the courts.
In order to silence his daughters Ashley contacted Change.org and had the petition removed.
A friend of Marissa’s also backed up her story of abuse.
I found this newsworthy and reported on it, since the missing child was all over the news, and felt it was important to clarify that she was safe. More importantly, I will always advocate for children when they come forward with allegations of abuse, especially when DCYF and the courts are not listening to them. TB Daily News has always been the voice of the voiceless, especially when children are involved.
Last August before Marissa ran away from her father, she and her mother attempted to get a protection order against him for abusing them. The court denied their order, unlike Ashley who seems to get protection orders from judges in Providence very easily.
East Providence Police are constantly at his house responding to calls, and he has been charged with a variety of crimes as a result. He’s threatened to kill himself by jumping off the Henderson Bridge several times before, including one dramatic incident in which he was rescued by police. One time he falsely told police that his wife was suicidal, just so they would mess with her. Police noted Ashley’s history of untruthfulness, and stated that he had called the police station and pretended to be someone else contemplating suicide in the past.
His daughter Holly once resisted going to Ashley’s parent’s house, claiming to have been raped there. DCYF attempted to force her to go, but were overruled by the police.
He is clearly not a well man.
Ashley attempted to have the story taken down by emailing me, and baselessly alleged that his 16 year old daughter Marissa (the missing one) was having sex with a 49 year old man, something she adamantly denied in her Facebook post.
On October 18 Ashley posted on Facebook about how his daughter allegedly Holly tried to frame him by posting about her harrowing experiences living with Ashley, and claimed that her actions caused him to have “eggs, bricks, and rocks” thrown at his home.
Eggs, bricks, and rocks. Remember those.
Four months later Ashley St. Angelo began emailing me again, claiming to have evidence that the blog I published was not factual. I am always open to corrections and welcome emails like this. If sufficient evidence is provided I will issue a correction or a retraction. However, Ashley didn’t provide any legitimate evidence to dispute anything in the blog, and spent most of his emails smearing his daughters and ex-wife, while bemoaning how hard life was for him collecting disability from the government.
Smearing your own children is not an effective way to prove that you didn’t abuse them.
Ashley’s son is special needs and according to their family Ashley encourages him to be violent. He often alleges that other kids are assaulting his son. On his YouTube channel he posts videos of his son instigating arguments and fights with other kids, and then playing the victim.
One of the emails he sent me contained a Providence Superior Court document from July 2020, in which he bragged about Judge Melissa Darigan granting him a restraining order against his neighbors, who he alleged were “violent” towards his son. He said he couldn’t be violent towards Marissa because he wasn’t violent towards his neighbors.
Judge Darigan granted him the order and waived his filing fees.
I chose not to remove the blog because he hadn’t given me any reason to or shown any evidence disproving the allegations against him. Then on January 4th I began receiving emails from a “Jenny Manning” who claimed to represent an Internet anti-defamation organization called The Justice League that “exposed” me in a blog. I won’t link it here because it’s defamatory and said that I sexually assaulted multiple women and former students. It also contained a picture of my children (3 and 5) and said that I was “sexually demonizing” them.
When I didn’t respond “Jenny Manning” sent me a threatening email vowing to get in contact with my family, and listed names, phone numbers (wrong ones) and addresses of my parents. I told them not to contact me again, which “The Justice League” then screenshotted and put in their blog, calling me “chicken shit” for doing so.
Jenny Manning bragged about putting pictures of the kids in there and bragged about all the views it was allegedly getting.
The “Justice League” said that they would not stop harassing me until the blogs about Ashley St. Angelo were removed and I was ruined completely.
Just so you know Turtleboy WE WILL NOT STOP OR BE STOPPED UNTIL YOU GIVE IN OR ARE RUINED COMPLETELY BY THE ACTIONS YOU HAVE CAUSED
Jenny Manning is Ashley St. Angelo, and there is no Justice League. Ashely has done this before to another woman in 2017 (and likely many others) after she commented on a community Facebook post. He messaged the woman and threatened to post information about her family if she did not remove the comment from the Facebook post.
On January 5 Ashley emailed me again using the Jenny Manning account, attempting to blackmail me into taking the blog down about him by offering to remove the blatantly defamatory “Justice League” blog about my family.
He also began contacting my family at work, telling their employer that they were sexual deviants who wrote a hateful blog in an attempt to get them to pressure me to remove the blog about him.
At this point I contacted the Holden Police Department and explained what happened. They contacted Ashley who got spooked by it, and suddenly the Justice League announced that Ashley was no longer a client of theirs. Nevertheless they’d continue writing about her story for free, because Jenny Manning is Ashley.
“We have apparently lost a client for a call by the police in an apparent attempt either intimidate or harass the client. But we are here for the client and will continue to work on their story. Unfortunately their name will no longer be displayed but their story and justice for them will continue.”
Contacting the police upset Ashley.
But he continued to email me and wrote a bizarre email on January 7, in which he thanked an imaginary fan in Britain named Becky, bragged to her that he had gotten nearly 30K views on the blog, and said that he spoke to an elected representative in Massachusetts about shutting the blog down. In reality there is no Becky from Britain, Ashley just wanted me to think that his blog “exposing me” was being read internationally. For dramatic effect Ashley accused me of hacking into Becky’s email account (who doesn’t exist), which somehow redirected his email to me instead of her.
Clearly this man is not mentally well and no rational adult should take him seriously.
The Holden Police contacted Ashley on January 6, and he told them that the courts and local attorneys would not help him get the blog removed, so he found an organization on Facebook called the Justice League that agreed to handle it on Ashley’s behalf.
The officer instructed Ashley to tell the Justice League (him) to stop harassing my family, and Ashley said he would contact them. Ashley told the officer that years ago he would’ve beat the shit out of me for writing the blog, and he attempted to bribe HPD with lobster if they got me to take the blog down.
On January 12 Judge Melissa Darigan, the same judge who granted him the order in July against his neighbors, granted him a restraining order against me and my wife, who has nothing to do with any of this. He’s dragging my family into this in order to torment us further, in hopes that I will remove the blogs. In doing so Judge Darigan legitimized his delusions and stalking behavior by granting the order.
It’s odd that Ashley would choose to go to Superior Court because usually Judge Darigan is dealing with high profile cases, like a 2019 abortion decision, and a highly publicized ruling on lockdowns of gyms in 2020. She was appointed by Gina Raimondo in 2019, which drew criticism from some because she donated to Raimondo’s gubernatorial campaign.
“I am also concerned about Darigan’s decision to donate the maximum $1000 to Governor Raimondo’s campaign one week after she was announced as a candidate for the position by the Judicial Nominating Commission,” said Bell. “While I do not believe that this donation influenced Governor Raimondo or violated ethics laws, I believe that judges should strive to maintain the highest possible standard of ethics principles and avoid any appearance of impropriety.”
— Rhode Island Courts (@CourtsRI) March 12, 2019
For a smart woman she didn’t have much common sense in this case, or perhaps she just didn’t like me. The affidavit he submitted to her was filled with lies and contained no evidence to back up anything he said. It didn’t allege that I was contacting him, a necessary requirement for an order to be granted. It also contained the same lie he posted on Facebook about eggs, bricks, and rocks being thrown at his house.
Judges don’t have to grant hearings to anyone who applies for one. Failure to show any evidence like Ashley did, is certainly reason enough not to force someone from out of state to drive to Providence for a hearing. She chose to do it anyway, not just for me, but for my wife. I emailed the court several times about the hardship of two working parents being forced to drive out of state for such a frivolous hearing and requested to do it virtually. Judge Darigan refused, despite having the discretion under Rule 7 (a rule she helped draft) to allow it.
Ashley only attempted to get this order after I went to the police, thinking it would protect him. In reality we were the victims, and Judge Darigan couldn’t be bothered to do some basic research and see that.
On January 13 Ashley brought the order to Holden and demanded the police serve me with it. The police noticed in his affidavit that he lied when he said that they had instructed him to get the order – a lie he successfully used to obtain the order from Judge Darrigan under the pains and penalties of perjury. The officer pointed out that he never would’ve urged Ashley to do this because be “knew there wouldn’t be grounds for an order,” but he underestimated how easily Judge Darrigan hands out restraining orders. The officer also pointed out that he believed the Justice League was fake because only Ashley could contact them and they had no online presence.
“I have formulated the professional opinion that Mrs. St. Angelo is the author of the blog from the Justice League. Furthermore there is no Justice League and Mrs. St. Angelo’s purpose is not to inform the public about Mr. Kearney but rather to intimidate Mr. Kearny into taking down his post about Mrs. St. Angelo.”
When I presented this as evidence in court yesterday Judge Darigan told me that she didn’t believe or trust anything the Holden Police said because they hadn’t returned her phone calls, and said she had no idea who was lying and who was telling the truth. Holden Police allege the opposite, but Judge Darigan made it clear that she didn’t know who was lying – law enforcement or the mentally ill man who has threatened to kill himself dozens of times and constantly has the police at his house. It was shocking and unprecedented to hear a Judge say in an open courtroom that she didn’t trust a Massachusetts town police department.
In February I applied for and got a 1 year restraining order against Ashley for my family in Leominster District Court after a hearing in which Ashley rambled on incoherently, making wild accusations with no evidence to back any of it up. The order prevents him from contacting any of us or our employers.
But a few days later he did just that, leaving a voicemail threatening to show up at my wife’s work and protest that they employed a sexual deviant. Police contacted me, I verified it was Ashley St. Angelo’s voice on the voicemail, and they contacted the Worcester County DA’s office who issued a warrant for his arrest. Unfortunately it is non-extraditable, so East Providence Police cannot arrest him.
Today I had my day in court. Usually these hearings are quick – either you have evidence of 3 unwanted incidents of harassment or you don’t. Judges almost always either deny or grant the orders on the spot. But our hearing lasted almost three hours, and Judge Darigan told me that I should get a lawyer because this was long, complicated, and would require several hearings. To be clear, she is choosing to allow this to drag on, as she has not been provided with any evidence that I am harassing Ashley St. Angelo.
Ashley began the proceedings by saying that he had a lawyer but the lawyer couldn’t make it so he wanted a delay. This is easy for him since he lives 5 minutes away, but I live over an hour away and had to get childcare to go to this.
Judge Darigan asked him if I had ever threatened or harassed him directly, and he said I had not, but he also hadn’t listened to all my shows so he said it was a possibility. A competent Judge would’ve dismissed it right there, but it was clear that this was personal for Judge Darigan. Later on in the proceedings she glared at me and mentioned that I had written a blog that was critical about her. She said that she would allow me to write about her, but she strongly encouraged me not to be rude to her clerk or mention the name of Ashley’s attorney.
Judge Darigan asked me if I would take the blog down and I said no. The blog is important because it gives a voice to abused children, and it would set the precedent that stalking my family and abusing the court system is a way for predators to have their blogs removed. I explained to her that I was a reporter and a voice for abused children, and I had a constitutional right to free speech. I explained the damage that this had caused to my family and my mental health.
But she was unmoved by any of this and said she needed to “get to the bottom of it” by having a series of hearings on the matter. As it became clear that this would take up large amounts of time and money I began to reconsider. If I took the blog down no one would forget what he did, so I offered to do that, something I now regret. However, Ashley and Judge Darigan both wanted me to ask Leominster District Court to remove the order and the warrant against Ashley. I couldn’t commit to this, or even knew if that was possible.
However, the mere fact that a Judge was asking my family to give up an order of protection, designed to protect us from a predator, was wildly inappropriate. As was her request that I not publicly state the name of his attorney on the blog, even though these hearings are recorded. As was the angry look she gave me when she acknowledged that she knew she had been featured in a blog. As was her proclamation that she didn’t believe the Holden Police Department and wasn’t interested in reading their report I attempted to enter as evidence.
Taking the blog down would not only be against everything I believe in, it would put us in more danger by allowing him to contact and threaten family and employers without consequence. Ashley is a pathological liar who pretends to be different people all the time. An agreement that he would stop contacting us would be useless, since he’d just make up fake names to do so.
I left the courthouse thinking that I would take the blogs down because it was easier. The Judge spoke with Ashley’s attorney who is supposed to contact me and facilitate a written agreement, and scheduled our next court date on April 29 so she could read over the details and have both parties agree to remove all orders and blogs.
But giving in didn’t sit right with me. I must retain counsel and fight this, as it’s clear that this Judge is heavily biased towards Ashley St. Angelo, who she considers to be as credible as the Holden Police Department. But Judge Darigan and Ashley St. Angelo aren’t just attacking me, they’re attacking all of you too. They’re sending the message that you better not offend a member of a marginalized group like Ashley St. Angelo online, because if you do there will be consequences.
Lawyers in Rhode Island are much more expensive than they are in Central and Western, MA. Usually they go from $400-$1,000 an hour. I’d go broke if every Judge were as corrupt and incompetent as Judge Darigan. I felt alone in that courtroom today where no one could see or hear the injustice I was witnessing. But talking about this on the Live Show made me realize that we have an army of people who don’t want to see free speech being silenced by someone like Anthony St. Angelo.
If you’d like to donate to help obtain counsel for this here’s the GoFundMe.
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