Animal rights activists Stephanie Wilson, 18, and Donald Antenen, 17, were arrested in January after they stood and protested in the front yard of an employee of Forest Pharmaceuticals. Forest Pharmaceuticals has been targeted by Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty and other groups for its ties to Huntingdon Life Sciences.
As Wilson and Antenen attempted to leave, the Forest employee jumped on top of the hood of the car the pair were using and refused to move until police arrived. When police finally showed up, the two were arrested and charged with menacing by stalking.
Ohio’s menacing by stalking statute defines the crime thusly,
No person by engaging in a pattern of conduct shall knowingly cause another person to believe that the offender will cause physical harm to the other person or cause mental distress to the other person.
Wilson was released on $10,000 bail.
Those who follow the animal rights movement might remember Wilson from the publicity her disappearance in 2002 caused. Then 16, Wilson disappeared shortly before Christmas from her Ohio home. Her parents went public with their suspicions that Wilson had run away from home to join the animal rights movement.
Fox News reported at that time,
The Wilson family says it was like a drug addiction – radical animals rights ideas literally took over their daughter’s life. She ran away on December 6th. But the Wilson’s say their daughter was emotionally and mentally gone long before. Stephanie Wilson, 16, loves animal, but when she started to visit certain websites, her parents say things changed. “It turned from a love of animals to a hate for humans.”
She spent more and more time viewing disturbing images of animal cruelty, and chatting with animal rights activists. Phone calls would come to the house. Over time, it became Stephie’s life. “She couldn’t function at school, function at home.”
“We found her name listed as the chairperson of one of these organizations. She was 15-years-old until October.” Stephie kept an on-line journal illustrating her hatred for people. “There was such a draw, the consistent information.”
A neighbor saw a strange woman helping Stephie run away on December 6th, when her parents were at work. They took every picture of Stephanie’s face, erased phone-numbers from caller I.D. and ripped the hard drive from the computer. The last thing Stephie wrote in her journal “Trust me, I will update you in a few days. Much love, Steph.”
“It’s an obsession… it’s cult like.” Some of the groups Stephanie was involved with are. Stop Huntington Animal Cruelty or S.H.A.C., The Animal Liberation Front or A.L.F. and Earth First. The Wilson’s were contacted by America’s Most Wanted.
Wilson was found in March 2003 in Chicago, where police said she was believed to be staying with local animal rights activists. She was picked up by police at an anti-war protest and returned to her family.
Students arrested for protesting animal cruelty. ChannelCincinnati.Com, January 13, 2005.
Police arrest students protesting against animal cruelty. Cincinnati Animal Defense League, Press Release, January 12, 2005.
Missing girl located. The Cincinnati Post, March 22, 2003.
Bridgetown teen found in Chicago. 9News, March 21, 2003.
Students Arrested In Animal Cruelty Protest. 9 News, January 13, 2005.
Parents think missing teen was brainwashed. Fox News, December 18, 2002.
Parents Fear Runaway Daughter Has Joined Subversive Group. Deb Silverman, 9News, December 18, 2002.