A judge ordered Monday that a 51-year-old man charged with stalking a Batavia woman should be held without bond while the case proceeds, in part, because he's accused of putting a GPS device in her car.
"Unless you're in custody, I really believe you will continue to stalk her and scare her," Kane County Judge Thomas Stanfa told Joseph A. Donato. "I think you know exactly what you're doing. I think you are completely obsessed with this woman."
Donato, of the 1100 block of West Ogden Avenue, Naperville, was arrested in late March and charged with several counts of violation of an order of protections and aggravated stalking.
The most serious stalking charges are felonies punishable by up to five years in prison.
According to Batavia police and court documents, Donato repeatedly violated a no contact order and order of protection filed for the woman, who is his ex-girlfriend, and her twin 11-year-old daughters, on Dec. 12, 2012.
Donato is accused of texting her, putting a note a her door, confronting her in a parking lot in North Aurora, and following her while she drove, according to police and court records.
Assistant State's Attorney Jamie Mosser also argued in court that Donato planted a GPS device on the woman's car that would send messages to his cellphone and computer whenever she left her home. When the woman came home or left home, Donato would send her a blank text as a way of letting her know he was keeping track of her, authorities allege.
Under state law, a defendant in a stalking case can be held without bond if a judge agrees there is a real and present threat to the victim.
Donato's attorney, Gary Topol, sought a reduced bond. Donato was being held on $100,000 bail, meaning he would have to post $10,000 to be out of jail while this case was pending.
In court documents, Topol argued that Donato, who does not have previous felony convictions, never skipped town while on bond and would reside in Oak Park while the case proceeded.
Mosser also said that Donato testified Monday that he now realized the relationship was over and he wanted to bond out of jail so he could celebrate his birthday with his children later this week.
Stanfa didn't believe Donato and agreed with the state's request to revoke bond. He also cited an evaluation report that concluded Donato was a high risk to stalk again.
"He's a scorned lover, that's what I think," Stanfa said. "You, Mr. Donato, pose a real and present threat to the safety of this victim."
Donato is next due in court April 29.