Aggravated stalker ditched parole tether

Published 8:35 am Tuesday, February 11, 2020

NILES — A convicted aggravated stalker was sent behind bars Monday morning for ditching his parole tether.

Austin Rosenthal, 27, of S. Third St. in Niles was sentenced to 60 days in jail with credit for no time served for tampering with an electronic device. He was sentenced by Berrien County Trial Court Judge Sterling Schrock at the Niles courthouse, 1205 Front St.

Rosenthal has spent the past two months in jail because he broke his tether, but because the offense was a parole violation, he will receive no credit for his days served.

He also faces up to $745 in fines and restitution. He could pay more than $500 less if the tether he removed from his leg is recovered and has no damage.

Rosenthal broke his approximately six-month parole Oct. 28, 2019, when he removed his tether from his leg. On Nov. 23, law enforcement found him and arrested him.

In police documents, Rosenthal alleged he removed the tether because of the effects of drugs. In court Monday, he said the stress of being in a halfway house caused him to do it.

Rosenthal’s original sentence was 180 days in jail and five years of probation in 2015 for aggravated stalking. He had twice stalked his ex-girlfriend and her mother by breaking into their home despite a personal protection order against him.

Schrock said Monday that if Rosenthal violated parole before, it would not make sense to give him a probationary sentence.

“You are more suited to sit in prison than be out in public,” he said.

Rosenthal said he was ready for public life again.

“I’m ready to get past this part of my life and be there for my children,” he said. “I’m ready myself.”

After serving 60 days in jail, Rosenthal will likely receive a sanction from the Michigan Department of Corrections for absconding parole, Schrock said.

Also Monday, Gregory James Tomory was sentenced to pay $598 in fines for stealing a motor vehicle.

Schrock did not seek tougher sentencing, per the suggestion from Berrien County assistant prosecutor Gerald Vigansky, because of the situation surrounding the offense.

The Niles resident, now 40, stole a vehicle a few doors down from his Invicta Drive home in 2018. He thought that the vehicle and home belonged to a friend, who gifted him a vehicle. It was actually another family’s home.

According to court records, Tomory said he had schizophrenia at the time, so the court tested his competency to stand trial.

In the two years since his arrest, Tomory was found competent and has received mental health treatment.

“I don’t think the criminal justice system is needed because of his mental health,” Schrock said. “I don’t think he needs this stress.”