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Last updated: Wed. Jun. 26, 2013 - 11:44 am EDT

Stalking victim documents torment

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FORT WAYNE — In the 15 months since her stalker went to prison, Dawn Hillyer has not gone silent.

Last week, a Discovery Channel documentary crew was in Fort Wayne to film a segment on Hillyer for its "Stalked: Someone's Watching" series, set to begin its second season in December on Investigation Discovery.

Hillyer's story is slated to be the season premiere.

In March 2012, Michael McClellan, 44, was sentenced to a total of 10 years in prison on two separate charges of stalking. An Allen Superior Court jury, after listening to voice mails, text messages, and stories of seemingly random encounters, as well as hearing from computer experts and both Hillyer and McClellan, convicted him of the charges.

The two met on Match.com in 2004 and casually dated for about a year. Eleven months later, however, McClellan began harassing her in earnest. By the end of 2006, in spite of protective orders and repeated requests to stop, McClellan's obsession was tormenting Hillyer.

Shortly after McClellan's conviction and sentencing, Hillyer expressed a desire to share her story with other stalking victims and raise awareness, not only among the general public but in law enforcement as well.

"I want to be involved in this full time," Hillyer said. "There are laws that need reformed. I'm trying to get laws changed so that people don't have to go through it to the extent that I did."

The documentary was the next step in that process, she said.

"It's become so much more than just putting him away," she said. "It's about the awareness and finding people to help."

She has written letters to senators and contacted the office of Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, but Hillyer said it has not gotten her far.

"Anybody that I can … I've been talking to," Hillyer said.

She hopes the attention of the documentary – which gathered information last week – opens some of those doors for sharing her story, and being heard, a bit more.

McClellan is not scheduled for release until February 2017 at the earliest, but it is something still lurking in Hillyer's mind.

Five years in prison, she said, is a long time to be focused on planning revenge.

"You can't predict crazy," she said. "Once he's out of jail, I will always be looking over my shoulder."

rgreen@jg.net


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