Former KYW Anchor Erika von Tiehl appeared in Common Pleas Court Wednesday to deliver a brief, impassioned statement about the fears and frustrations of being the victim of a stalker.
"I am so grateful for every day he has spent behind bars," von Tiehl said of John Hart, whom she met on Facebook and briefly dated in 2011.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that after she broke off the relationship, von Tiehl testified during a trial in November, she started receiving threatening anonymous text messages.
At the same time, her cell phone number was changed several times, and her cable and internet services were cut off. Passwords to her social-media account also were changed.
Hart, who was convicted of stalking von Tiehl, was sitting in the courtroom Wednesday and showed no emotion as she spoke. He awaits a May 26 sentencing.
"I hate feeling afraid," von Tiehl said in her statement. She explained that she awakens listening to her house groan and wonders whether she needs to grab a candlestick to defend herself.
Referencing Hart, she said, "Every minute he is incarcerated, the outside world is a safer place. This is not a man who sees the error of his ways.
"For myself and for other women, I ask for a just punishment for this man."
Last month, CBS3 announced that von Tiehl was leaving the station to marry and move to a different city.
Outside the courtroom Wednesday, von Tiehl declined to comment.
Hart has previous convictions for similar stalking incidents.
When he was arrested in 2011 for stalking von Tiehl, he was on parole for a 2006 simple assault and stalking conviction in Delaware County for which he had been sentenced to 18 to 48 months in prison followed by five years' probation.