Ryan Stocker charged with obstruction, violation of conditions 'Jail Phone Calls' result in charges against two others

By Shawn Cunningham
© 2018 Telegraph Publishing LLC

Ryan Stocker appearing for his arraignment in Windsor County Court on Monday. Photos by Eric Francis

On Monday, Windsor County prosecutors added two new charges to the list facing Ryan Stocker, 19 of Chester, as he was arraigned for obstruction of justice and violations of conditions of release.

Two of Stocker’s friends, Justin Diak, 19 of Chester, and Joshua Woods, 20 of Proctorsville, are also being charged with obstruction of justice and are scheduled to be arraigned in November.

Obstruction of justice is a felony punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000. The new charges stem from a 2017 case in which Stocker was charged with kidnapping, attempted aggravated sexual assault and lewd and lascivious conduct with a child in Ludlow in July 2015. Stocker is also charged with furnishing alcohol to a minor and two other counts of sexual assault.

Police say that, between September and November 2017, while Stocker was being held at Southern State Correctional Facility in Springfield in lieu of $100,000 bail, he had a number of phone conversations with Diak and Woods asking them to contact the victim to see if she would drop the charges against him.

Prosecutors say the situation began to come to light during a July 2018 deposition, when Stocker’s defense attorney brought up a handwritten transcript of a portion of Snapchat messages between the Diak and the victim.

“That document was unknown to us,” said Ludlow Police Sgt. Richard King. “So we had to look into it.”

Police followed up with the victim, who had a screen shot of the entire exchange. The document begins with Diak writing, “Okay so this stays between us 100% but it’s very important,” and goes on to ask if the victim is considering dropping the charges and urging her to talk with Stocker’s lawyer.

King subpoenaed the recordings of Stocker’s calls from Southern State and, after listening to many of them, concluded that Diak and Woods had discussed contacting the victim to have her drop the charges.

The charging documents include a list of “Jail Phone Calls” that give dates and times and a synopsis of what was discussed. For example, in a Sept. 23 call with Woods, Stocker tells Woods that they need to get someone to talk with the victim cautioning that, “You can’t say it like I said anything.”

Two days later, the list notes that Stocker tells Diak that someone needs to talk with the victim and get her to drop the charges. Diak is quoted as saying, “I will talk to her.”

In total, there are 22 conversations on the list – including six with Stocker’s grandmother Lisa Sousy – in which various ideas for contacting the victim and putting an end to the case are discussed.  While the documents allege that Sousy wanted to meet and talk with the victim, according to King, only Diak and Woods contacted her and so were charged with obstruction.

Deputy State’s Attorney Heidi Remick filed a motion to revoke Stocker’s bail and that he be held without bail until the trial. In her motion, Remick said that Stocker “stands accused of a violation of conditions that strikes at the very legitimacy of the criminal justice system: contacting one of his alleged victims for the purpose of urging her to change her story.”

At the conclusion of Monday afternoon’s hearing, Judge Timothy Tomasi released Stocker on his existing bail adding new conditions to those set last year. These include having no contact with Diak, Woods or Sousy in person, by phone, by email or through a third person whether Stocker is in jail or on release.

At the same time, Tomasi noted, “This occurred a year ago and, paradoxically, this happened when he was incarcerated.”  The judge pointed to a lack of reports of any incidents of witness contact in the intervening year.

“The fact that we haven’t heard of any attempts to contact victims doesn’t mean it didn’t happen,” Remick told the Telegraph on Tuesday.

“Yesterday the judge said there would be a hearing on the motion,  but I haven’t heard about a date for it,” she added.

In the end, Tomasi cautioned Stocker “I can tell you that you are on the edge and if there is any hint of contact with these folks going forward, it is going to be decisive.”

Eric Francis contributed reporting to this story.

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