SALEM, Mass. - Just in time for Halloween, a self-proclaimed witch priestess got an order of protection against a man who calls himself the world's best known warlock after she accused him of harassment.
In an affidavit, Lori Sforza, 75, says that Christian Day, 45, has been calling her in the middle of the night about three times a week, calling her "the c-word" and saying "I am gonna get you." Sforza, who also goes by the name Lori Bruno, also alleged that Day has been "speaking ill of me on the Internet" and that she is afraid for her safety and the safety of her disabled husband.
According to her website, Sforza owns a witchcraft store in Salem and is descended from a long line of witches, including one who she says was burned alive in Italy for healing victims of the plague. Sforza founded a pagan church in Salem in 1992, and in 2011, she and Day made headlines when they cast a spell to "heal" actor Charlie Sheen.
Day, according to his website, owns occult stores in Salem and New Orleans. The Associated Press reports that he calls the problems with Sforza "a business dispute gone wrong."
On Wednesday, a judge ruled in Sforza's favor, directing Day not to contact her or come within 100 yards of her home or business for a year. The judge also ruled that Day could not communicate "indirectly through social media (no postings that reference or are directed toward [Sforza])."
Day denied making the phone calls and says he will appeal.
And, according to Professor Danielle Citron of the University of Maryland School of Law, he may have a good case.
Citron, who specializes in First Amendment issues and is the author of the book "Hate Crimes in Cyberspace," told 48 Hours' Crimesider that the judge's direction to Day not to post about Sforza online is too broad and likely in violation of the First Amendment.
"Harassment is speech we can prohibit," she says, "but criticism is protected speech."