If you’re on any sort of social media platform, you’re probably used to unwanted invites. Friends, family, and acquaintances might send you an invite to play Farmville, Candy Crush—whatever the latest online game craze is. Most of the time, you probably ignore these invites, and that’s the end of it.
One unwanted invite, however, recently landed the sender in jail, ABC News reports.
After Thomas Gagnon’s ex-girlfriend received a Google+ invite from him, she went to the police with the printed invite. The woman had placed a restraining order against Gagnon, and she asserted that Gagnon had violated the restraining order by sending her the invite.
Law enforcement agreed with Gagnon’s ex-girlfriend and subsequently arrested him. (He was later released on bail.)
But this case isn’t as cut and dry as it may seem: Gagnon claims that he never actually sent the email, and he very well could be telling the truth.
Google released its social platform Google+ (or g+) in 2011, and it has been promoting it aggressively ever since.
When a person adds an email to one of his or her “circles” (the feature that g+ uses to organize your contacts and filter your posts accordingly), Google sends an email inviting the person’s contact to g+. This email occurs automatically, and the g+ user may not have even known about it.
A product forum entitled “Prevent automatic email invitations to Google+?” and created in 2011 has many users complaining that they were spamming their circles with unintended emails to join Google+.
It will be very interesting to see how this case plays out. We hope that Gagnon’s attorneys will be able to prove whether or not Gagnon sent the email: it would be a travesty of justice to arrest and imprison someone through no fault of his own.
As you can see, the consequences of violating a restraining order are severe, including an arrest and potential prison time. Law enforcement treats restraining orders very seriously, and prosecutors will pursue tough sentencing for alleged violators. This is why, if you have been charged with violating a restraining order, you should immediately contact an experienced criminal defense attorney for help.