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Orange County Focus

ANAHEIM : Man Arrested Under New 'Stalking' Law

December 25, 1991|MARK I. PINSKY

In the first Orange County use of a new state law prohibiting "stalking," a man has been jailed on suspicion of harassing a Westminster woman whom he once dated.

James Otis Sims, 37, was ordered held on $80,000 bail Monday by a Municipal Court judge after being arrested Sunday in Anaheim at the home of a relative.

Sandra Potter, 31, had complained to authorities that Sims has been obsessed with her for the past 12 years, since they met at a Garden Grove restaurant where she was a waitress.

Neither Sims nor Potter could be reached for comment Tuesday.

Deputy Dist. Atty. James Tanizaki said Tuesday that Sims was the first person charged in Orange County under the stalking law. Under the law, Sims faces a single misdemeanor count, which carries with it a $1,000 fine and a year in jail. He also faces five counts of vandalism of Potter's property, including her car, Tanizaki said.

Sims has gone to prison twice, for beating Potter and for following her, and has sent numerous letters threatening her and her husband. Her tires have been slashed and shrubbery around her home uprooted.

A bail hearing for Sims is scheduled for Thursday, Tanizaki said, at which time the case may be set for trial.

Sims was arrested under a warrant issued in October.

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