Woman testified defendant put her in fear for her life
January 17, 2013
A Johnson Lane woman, who alleged she was stalked by disbarred attorney Michael Charles Meisler, testified this week that she was so terrorized by the defendant, she now sleeps with a loaded gun under her pillow and lights on.
The 60-year-old woman, who spent more than eight hours on the witness stand Wednesday and Thursday, answered questions posed by prosecutor Tom Gregory, and Meisler, who is acting as his own attorney.
A jury of nine women and four men, which includes an alternate, began hearing the case Tuesday against Meisler in which he is accused of aggravated stalking.
The woman testified that she met Meisler in March 2011 at Carson City Starbucks where she worked as a barista.
“He identified himself as Dr. Charlie Brickman,” she said. “He told me he was a gynecologist for years and a vascular surgeon, and was an on-call emergency room doctor for several hospitals in the area.”
She said Meisler was very personable, and at their first meetings told jokes and “did a great impression of (comedian) George Carlin.”
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A week after their initial meeting, they went to the movies and began an intimate relationship, she testified.
She later learned his name was Michael Charles Meisler, but he also used the name “Carlos Mencia.”
She said she never lived with Meisler, and the most time they spent together was three or four days. They saw each other a couple of hours a day, five days a week. The woman said her 17-year-old son initially liked Meisler, but became suspicious of him, so they didn’t see each other if her son was at home.
They spoke frequently during the day and sent multiple text messages.
The woman said the relationship was “off and on,” and Meisler made her aware that he was seeing other women. During that summer, they didn’t see each other at all, but reconciled.
“At the beginning of November, the relationship started to deteriorate. All of a sudden, there was a lot of bickering going on. A lot of red flags were going up. I had to go with my gut feeling,” she said.
The woman said she sent Meisler a text shortly before Thanksgiving that she was ending the relationship.
“I didn’t want to see him,” she said. “I spoke to him later on the phone.”
Before she returned from work that day she received a text she believed was from Meisler indicating he had been in her home without permission, and making threatening references to her son, and a male friend who was coming from Las Vegas to spend Thanksgiving with her.
“I told my son to go to a friend’s house. I believed Charlie (Meisler) had been in my house and I didn’t know what we would find,” she said.
She contacted deputies who met her at her house. They found a box of Meisler’s belongings outside the gate, a lengthy letter taped to her garage for the woman’s friend, a pornographic picture under her pillow and a note on her son’s bed allegedly from Meisler about his opinion of the teenager.
The woman obtained a temporary protection order, but deputies couldn’t serve it until they found Meisler in Carson City on Dec. 11. He was taken into custody on Dec. 15, and has remained in Douglas County Jail.
The victim testified that she was in fear for her life from Meisler, an element of the offense.
The complaint alleges that between Nov. 15 and Dec. 14, 2011, Meisler sent multiple letters, text messages, newspaper clippings and other writings, and left messages for the woman in her home and taped to the garage.
The messages said, “Kill me if you can,” “you deserve everything coming to you as a result of your callousness,” “yours was a fatal decision,” according to the criminal complaint.
Meisler was licensed to practice law in Florida, New Mexico, the District of Columbia and Costa Rica before he was disbarred for similar stalking convictions in Florida.
The jury will not hear of his prior convictions unless he introduces the information through questioning witnesses, or testifying on his own behalf.
Conviction carries a penalty of up to 15 years in prison, or probation.
In his opening statement Tuesday, Meisler said the trial was about semantics.
“It is word usage, pure and simple … between a defendant (Meisler) who is exceptionally well educated, and an individual who is not.”
“Specific words may be considered harassing and annoying. But are they threatening? Probably not,” he said to the jury.
He told the jury that the victim was a liar who is unable to process the truth and “has been brainwashed by the police and the DA’s (district attorney) office.”
Prosecutor Karen Dustman, who his trying the case with Chief Deputy District Attorney Gregory, said Meisler deliberately put the woman in fear of her life.
“Even after the restraining order was served on Dec. 11 (2011), the course of conduct continued. She began sleeping at home with all the lights on, and a loaded gun at her bed,” Dustman said.
The trial is expected to conclude today.