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Originally published Thursday, March 8, 2012 at 6:32 PM

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Des Moines woman, 64, charged with felony stalking

Des Moines woman, accused of harassing man she's court-ordered to avoid, charged with felony stalking.

Seattle Times staff reporter

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Madaline Ann Desmet thought she'd met the man of her dreams through her church Sunday school program.

The Des Moines woman, who's a real-estate agent, allegedly confessed her "undying love" to the man a few months after meeting him and was rebuffed. But Desmet persisted, with packages, love letters and emails.

In December, Desmet, 64, even contacted Seattle Municipal Court to set up a wedding date. Staff at Jared, the Galleria of Jewelry, contacted the object of her affections to find out how he would be paying for her wedding ring.

Seattle police Detective Nathan Janes noted all of this and more in his investigative report into Desmet. On March 2, King County prosecutors charged Desmet with felony stalking.

Desmet is out of jail on her own recognizance. She is slated to be arraigned on the stalking charge on March 15.

When reached at home Thursday morning, Desmet was surprised that the case has garnered media attention. She said the only people who know about what's really going on are she and the man she is accused of stalking.

"It's just a bunch of bunk," she said. "I don't want to talk to you. I don't want to have this in The Seattle Times."

Desmet said she doesn't want to have the incident publicized because the man has young children.

When police arrested Desmet on Feb. 29, she admitted knowing about an anti-harassment order but thought the order was not real, according to court documents. She told officers that she believed the man she is accused of stalking had invaded her computer and was the one pursuing a romantic relationship, Janes wrote.

Seattle police were contacted by the alleged victim in January, after what he described as nearly two years worth of harassment by Desmet, according to charges. When Desmet refused to give up, church staff intervened in August 2010, asking her to leave the man and his children alone. She was banned from church grounds.

On March 8, 2011, the man was granted a protection order. Again, Desmet was not deterred, charges said. The mail, email, phone calls and direct contact continued.

In December, the man was contacted by Seattle Municipal Court regarding his supposed marriage ceremony. Later that month, the man's sister was walking home with his two daughters when she saw Desmet sitting in a parked car in front of her brother's house, charges said.

The man gave police more than 40 emails, four letters and a package, all purportedly from Desmet.

"(The man) is scared of Desmet. He believes that she is delusional with mental-health issues," Janes wrote in his report. "Because of her behavior towards him and his beliefs about her mental stability, he is afraid that sooner or later she will snap; her 'love' for him will turn violent."

The man told police he has changed his daily routines to evade Desmet.

He is not only fearful for his safety, but for the safety of his children, police said.

Jennifer Sullivan: 206-464-8294 or jensullivan@seattletimes.com. On Twitter @SeattleSullivan.

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