Woman asks local blogger's defamation suit against her be dismissed
A woman being sued for defamation by a prominent local blogger is asking a judge to toss the suit.
Tricia Mezzacappa, of West Easton, filed preliminary objections to blogger Bernie O'Hare's defamation suit Monday in Northampton County Court. O'Hare, who writes Lehigh Valley Ramblings, filed his suit in April and is seeking more than $50,000 in damages.
Mezzacappa says in her filing that it would be "impossible" for her to get a trial before an unbiased jury anywhere because of "shenanigans" by O'Hare meant to "embarrass, intimidate [and] harass" her.
In the filing, Mezzacappa points to an attempt by O'Hare last week to have her removed from the Northampton County Republican Committee seat representing West Easton.
The filing says O'Hare, a Democrat, was invited to address last Wednesday's executive session of the county Republican committee at the Wilson Borough Republican Club. Committee member Ron Angle asked O'Hare to speak, the filing says.
Mezzacappa feared for her safety, so she left the meeting and returned home, the filing says.
In the filing, Mezzacappa says O'Hare assailed her character before the committee; said she was undeserving of her license to carry a concealed firearm, and posed a danger to anyone in the same room with her.
Mezzacappa is asking that O'Hare be made to pay all costs of the defamation suit; that a restraining order be issued keeping O'Hare at least 250 feet away from her, and that District Attorney John Morganelli be asked to prosecute O'Hare on harassment and stalking charges.
In an interview Monday afternoon with wfmz.com, O'Hare said he did speak with the Northampton County Republican Committee at Angle's request.
However, he denied assailing Mezzacappa's character, adding, "I only accurately represented what Mezzacappa has said in the past."
O'Hare cited what Mezzacappa said in a previous court filing, that she was on medication and that she was unfit to stand trial because of the medication's potency. He said that's why he questioned the wisdom of Mezzacappa having a license to carry a concealed firearm.
O'Hare said a judge will hear Mezzacappa's objections to his defamation suit in September.
O'Hare filed his defamation suit against Mezzacappa last April, four days after a judge refused Mezzacappa's petition for a temporary restraining order against O'Hare, along with her request for protection from stalking and cyber-stalking.
In that petition, Mezzacappa accused O'Hare of sexually assaulting her in her home last Aug. 26; trying to use his blog to ruin her reputation as a professional nurse and politician; accosting her while she was walking in Hugh Moore Park; trying to poison her pot-bellied pig, and possibly being involved in a burglary at her home last Nov. 10.
O'Hare's defamation suit says Mezzacappa's accusations are proof that she has a "reckless disregard for the truth" and that she is acting "from malice."
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