I was represented by Allentown Attorney Rick Orloski, who stuck by me despite all the abuse she heaped on him. In fact, she began to defame him, too. A lesser lawyer would have taken off.
Mezzacappa began her defamation on October 31, 2011 at a blog called “Saving Private Gracedale”. That defamation has continued to the present day. In fact, Mezzacappa started her own blog, called “West Easton Footprint,” to continue making lurid accusations. These include very specific and false accusations that I exposed myself to her, sexually assaulted her, intoxicated her in an attempt to rape her, threatened to rape her, poisoned and abused her pet pig, stalked her in various locations, placed nails under the tires of her car and even burglarized her home.
She also falsely claimed that Ron Angle and I were involved in some sort of tax evasion scheme that included flipping antiques at auctions. She referred to us as “tax frauds” and depicted us both behind prison bars.
What bothered me most were her false accusations of pedophilia.
As Judge Edward G Smith, recently confirmed to the federal bench, noted in response to Mezzacappa's objections to my complaint, "[T]hese statements do not merely appear to be expressions of non-actionable opinion. Instead, these statements not only appear to be defamatory; they appear to be defamatory per se.”
If defamation is per se, damages can be presumed. But I can tell you they were very real. At the courthouse, I was called into the recorder's office because the women who work there began to wonder whether they should worry about me. At sporting events, where I love to watch my grandson and the other kids play, I had to discuss the matter with several coaches. I also began to notice that some parents understandably stopped asking me to pick up their kids and take them to practice. After being dragged into court on seven separate occasions by Mezzacappa to face bogus stalking charges, it began interfering with my sleep and made it difficult for me to concentrate.
In addition to the Internet defamation, Mezzacappa actively sought to have me fired as a freelance writer for The Bethlehem Press on at least three different occasions, necessitating all kinds of detailed explanations and references before I could continue.
Her pattern of harassing me with seven baseless stalking actions, was a drain on judicial resources. She made a mockery of the Court with seven frivolous claims between April 10, 2012 and the March 11 date of the damages trial. On one occasion, she forced Easton's police chief and another officer to waste a day in court. Because criminal sanctions are inappropriate, the only remedy to deter her from continuing to waste judicial resources and step all over other people is punitive damages.
As if all this were not bad enough, Mezzacappa displayed her animus by posting this comment, on Thursday, 1/10/13, at The Express Times web page, about me:
“Hi Jimp, I dont usually respond to anons, but here it goes.
Maybe I'M scared, but I dont think I'm paranoid, or a gun nut. See, law enforcement doesnt always work for insignificant nobody's like myself. They dont always serve and protect, either. When armagedon comes a runnin towards my house, I stand armed and ready. I picture armegedon about 5 ft 9 and balding, little eyeglasses on the tip of his nose, and enough fat flaps to insulate a bull. Deep breath, aim, shoot, and....one hollow point goes right through his skull, he's dead before he hit the ground, kersplat....PERFECT”
What makes this comment particularly menacing is that Mezzacappa possesses firearms, brags about them, and open carries. This comment was deleted at The Express Times, and she kept reposting it until The Express Times ultimately deleted her account.
Mrezzacappa is so difficult as a person that she continually taunted Attorney Orloski, referred to him in childish terms and refused to answer my complaint because she did not care for the way it was served on her. We ended up filing a default judgment. Then she refused to pick up certified mail notifying her of the damages trial. Yesterday, she was in Court, demanding sanctions against me for failing to give her notice, though that comes from the Court.
To her, this has been a game. To Attorney Orlosli and myself, it's been very real, and we really had no choice. Now we have a very real verdict, one that will withstand her attempts to have set aside. She is in a very bad position. She recently paid off the mortgage to her West Easton home. She will be unable to sell or mortgage it without satisfying us first. We can and will sell her home if the judgment remains unpaid. She won't be able to discharge a defamation tort in bankruptcy, especially when nearly $45,000 are in punitive damages.