Mother of Stalking Victim Wants Stricter Laws In Tennessee
Linda Gilliam wants tougher laws against stalkers in Tennessee.
MANCHESTER, Tenn.- A Manchester mother is fighting for stricter stalking laws after she says a repeat offender stalked her daughter three separate times in five years.
"One time is too much. Two times is ridiculous. Three times; you have lit this mother on fire," said Linda Gilliam.
Now this angry mom is on a mission. She wants tougher laws against stalkers in Tennessee, specifically, 36-year-old Steven Riva. He's the man accused of nearly running her then 16-year old-daughter of the road.
"She felt really scared like he was going to kill her," she said.
Now five years later, Riva's been charged twice in the last month with stalking the 21- year-old girl in parking lots and stores in Tullahoma.
"I don't like seeing his face and knowing that he is following me and stalking me is terrible and knowing that he is doing it to other people is terrible too," Gilliam's daughter told News Channel 5.
Gilliam was furious when she learned her daughter is not the only looking over her shoulder for Riva. His record in Coffee County shows previous stalking charges, indecent exposure, theft, and she even found him on the Tennessee Sex Offender Registry for a sexual battery conviction.
But, even with that lengthy criminal history, Riva was out of jail in a matter of hours on a $500 dollar bond for stalking Gilliam's daughter last week.
"I am angry. I am beyond angry. I'm afraid, and she is afraid of what he could do to her, and I am afraid of what he could do to her," said Gilliam.
They are both so scared, they filed an order of protection against Riva. A judge will decide whether to uphold it later this week in court when this young woman has to face the man she's been dreading to ever see again.
"I think they should push farther to keep him there instead of letting him out. It's not fair to any of us girls," she said.
Riva's court date for the stalking charges is later this month. He was unavailable for comment about the charges against Gilliam's daughter Sunday.