Man convicted of stalking again

OLYMPIA - A convicted stalker with a history of mental-health issues was convicted again this week of felony stalking at the conclusion of his jury trial.

Michael George Van Mieghem, 64, faces 13 to 17 months in prison at his sentencing hearing Monday.

His conviction Wednesday stems from his repeatedly attempting to contact a female corrections officer he claims he fell in love with while incarcerated at the Thurston County Jail, court papers state.

Van Mieghem came into contact with the officer while serving a one-year jail sentence for a prior felony stalking case. He was released from jail over the summer, court papers state.

The corrections officer obtained a civil no-contact order against Van Mieghem in late June, shortly before he was released. After being served with the order, Van Mieghem told another corrections officer that “he was going to break the no contact order just like he did the last one,” court papers state. “The defendant stated ‘we belong together and no one is going to stop me.’”

Also according to court papers:

Prosecutors filed the new charge of stalking against Van Mieghem on Nov. 3. He sent the corrections officer about 14 communications while he was an inmate. In one, he told her that he loved her and wanted to have sexual relations with her. On Oct. 19, he sent her a letter at her home address, and the woman told a detective that she “is concerned that the defendant may harm her roommate, her animals, or her property since he has now discovered where she lives.”

Van Mieghem’s two prior felony stalking convictions both involved a woman he began to contact by telephone and through the mail in 1985.

His mental-health issues might stem from a doctor’s use of forceps that caused permanent brain damage, according to a letter that Van Mieghem’s brother sent to a judge in 1997, during one of Van Mieghem’s cases.

Jeremy Pawloski: 360-754-5465