A Burnsville man is facing felony stalking charges after police say he repeatedly sent threatening letters to his ex-wife, apparently in an attempt to get her to move out of the townhouse that they jointly own.
Isaac Kim, 27, is charged with engaging in a pattern of stalking conduct, a felony with a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine. The charge carries a mandatory minimum penalty of a $6,000 fine.
According to the criminal complaint, Kim and the victim were married for six years and finalized their divorce in January 2011. They stayed in contact following their divorce, communicating about their jointly owned townhouse, which the victim continued to live in after they split up.
The victim told police that she works as an airline flight attendant, and that Kim is out of work. She said they were under financial pressure even after their divorce, including the mortgage on the townhouse.
On May 6, the victim told police, Kim showed up at the townhouse and demanded to come inside. He showed up again on June 18 and again demanded that the victim let him in, telling her that he wanted her to move out so he could live there instead, according to the complaint.
The victim became concerned for her safety, and moved out of the townhouse in mid-September, moving in with her parents in Burnsville.
On Sept. 29, the victim received a letter from Kim, mailed to her at her parents’ home. She told police that she recognized the handwriting on the envelope as Kim’s.
The letter included three photos, two of them of Kim, and a note that read, in part: “I will come get you stupid [expletive]. You better watch your back and leave my house,” according to the complaint.
The victim was so concerned about her safety that she applied for and was granted a protection order against Kim on Oct. 1. She told police that Kim had become unpredictable and this behavior had gotten progressively worse, and that he was so angry that she feared he might harm her.
On Oct. 2, Kim came to the Burnsville police station and told officers that someone had been threatening his ex-wife, claiming to be him. He named a woman whom he said was pretending to be him and harassing his ex-wife, though he was unable to explain why the woman would be stalking her.
The victim received a second letter from Kim on Oct. 26. The letter included Facebook photos of a male friend of the victim, who lives in Japan. An accompanying note said, “I watch you and see you walking your stupid dog,” the complaint says.
Kim was arrested and charged with violating the protection order. He again claimed to police that the woman he identified earlier was responsible for harassing his ex-wife.
Police tracked down the woman, who said someone had made a phony Facebook page in her name, using a photo of her from another website. She said she had asked Facebook to remove the phony page, but she didn’t know if it had been removed.
The victim received a third letter from Kim on Oct. 29, again including photos and a note. The sender used a red marker to draw devil horns on the photos of the victim and her Japanese friend, and the note read: “I will see you on Delta on my way to Yokohama-shi Kanagawa, Japan to ask him for my money back. Tell him to be ready,” according to the complaint.
Kim, who was still in custody when the letter was received, was charged again with violating a protection order.
On Nov. 3, the victim received a fourth letter from Kim, containing a note and a photograph of an airplane. The letter read, “I owe it to myself and my family to do what I got to do … I’m not scared.” Kim was arrested again and charged with violating a protection order..
The victim told police she was confident that Kim sent all four letters, because she recognized his handwriting, and there were details in the letters that only he would know.
Police executed a search warrant at Kim’s apartment and found a red Sharpie marker, a number of samples of Kim’s handwriting and a notebook with Kim’s name written on the front. The notebook contained a page on which someone wrote, “You will die soon,” followed by the victim’s name.
The victim told police that she is so afraid of Kim that she carries pepper spray, has taken a handgun familiarization class and plans to take more firearms classes so that she can get a permit to carry a handgun. She said she is also considering installing a home security system.
Kim has been released from custody on a $10,000 bond. An omnibus hearing in his case is scheduled Feb. 12