A candidate competing to represent part of Lake County in the Indiana House was charged May 11 with misdemeanor invasion of privacy for allegedly violating an order of protection recently put in place against him.
Brandon Dothager, a Highland Democrat hoping to serve House District 12 residents in Munster, Griffith, Highland and Hammond, is accused of indirectly attempting to annoy and harass a Highland woman who obtained a protection order against Dothager in January after he allegedly harassed her by telephone, text message and through the mail, according to court records.
Highland police claim Dothager ran afoul of that protection order in March by posting on Facebook screenshots of names and images associated with the woman and her family. It followed negative responses to Dothager linking on Facebook a news article referencing the protection order.
Police records show there was no direct contact between Dothager and the woman. Nevertheless, the woman believed Dothager's behavior crossed the line set by the protection order.
The Lake County prosecutor's office agreed.
It charged Dothager with invasion of privacy, a class A misdemeanor punishable by up to 1 year in jail and a $5,000 fine, records show.
Dothager is scheduled to respond to the accusation July 6 in Lake Superior Court.
However, Dothager last week filed a motion to move the case out of Lake County, according to court records.
He did not immediately return a telephone message Thursday seeking comment on the criminal charge he's facing.
Dothanger is competing against Mike Andrade, of Munster, and Mike "Mad Mac" McInerney, of Griffith, in Tuesday's Democratic primary for the Indiana House seat being given up by state Rep. Mara Candelaria Reardon, D-Munster, so she can run for Congress.
The primary election winner will face Republican Tom Wichlinski, of Griffith, in the Nov. 3 general election.