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Taylor Swift's stalking saga highlights vulnerabilities in system for everyday New Yorkers

Taylor Swift's stalker highlights system vulnerabilities for abuse victims
Taylor Swift's stalker highlights system vulnerabilities for abuse victims 02:03

NEW YORK -- Domestic violence activists say Taylor Swift's stalking saga highlights vulnerabilities in the system as everyday New Yorkers face their own stalkers and abusers.

Police say not even a restraining order was enough to stop a man named David Crowe from showing up near Taylor Swift's townhouse again Wednesday, where he was arrested for the third time in a week.

"It makes it feel so much scarier for the rest of us," said Jenna Chapman-Au, who works with the Harlem-based anti-domestic violence group WARM. "You know, I don't have Taylor Swift's bodyguards. Neither do the countless women and other survivors who come into our center."

NYPD sources say Crowe was spotted going through a dumpster outside Swift's townhouse just hours after he was given the restraining order and arraigned on other charges of stalking and harassing the pop star.

Prosecutors say a security worker saw Crowe near Swift's home about 30 times over the past couple months.

"Those restraining orders are useful, and they are helpful in protecting the people who get them, who take those out, but we see that in so many other instances, they just fail to protect people as deeply as they should," Chapman-Au said.

Sometimes, those vulnerabilities lead to violence.

Data from the city shows about 12% of domestic violence murder victims have an active restraining order at the time of the crime.

"Now, prosecutors may be able to request bail be set, but the laws now as they are on the books will restrict a judge from setting bail on certain offenses, and that is why he was able to be released," said Imran Ansari, an attorney and former prosecutor who is not involved in the prosecution of Crowe.

Crowe was not released Thursday, however. The judge sent him to jail because the new charges were for violating the restraining order. The judge also ordered a psychological exam to see if he's fit to stand trial.

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