Not guilty plea given in “annoying” messaging case

The Santa Clarita Courthouse. KATHARINE LOTZE/Signal.


A Santa Clarita Valley man accused of sending “annoying” and repeated phone messages — who found himself at the center of controversy earlier this year over his alleged phone messaging — pleaded not guilty to the charge Thursday.

Shane Michael Falsey, 29, appeared in Courtroom 2 of the Santa Clarita Courthouse Thursday morning.

When a court clerk called his name at 11:22 a.m., Falsey approached the bench.

Falsey – bald with a full black beard and his sunglasses held at the back of his head – was dressed all in black, T-shirt, knee-length baggy shorts and black sneakers.

As he approached the public defender assigned to represent him in court, he was told to return to his seat.

At that point, Commissioner Jeffrey M. Harkavy left the room, as did the public defender and a prosecutor with the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

Falsey returned to his seat in the courtroom, sitting beside a woman accompanying him.

About 11:45 p.m., the commissioner and the two attorneys returned to the courtroom, and Falsey walked to the edge of the public defenders area.

Harkavy explained his brief departure from the courtroom. “We had a conference and discussed procedural issues on how to move forward,” he said.

He also noted that Falsey had waived his rights to have the charge against him read in court and then asked if there was a plea.

“Not guilty,” Falsey said.

Harkavy then told Falsey to return to court on Nov. 13.

“You are free on your own recognizance with a reminder you’re to have no contact with the victim,” Harkavy said.

Falsey was arrested by deputies of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station on June 6, on suspicion of making “annoying” phone calls, a misdemeanor.

Falsey, whose bail was set at $2,500, was released from custody about 20 minutes after he was booked at the SCV Sheriff’s Station.

Two months prior to his arrest, prosecutors in Santa Clarita who reviewed allegations he sent abusive texts to women decided at the time not to prosecute due to a lack of evidence.

The specific complaints presented to the District Attorney’s Office dealt not with unwanted texted images from the man, but with other personal alleged abuses, Alisanne Scolnik, deputy district attorney in charge of the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office in Santa Clarita, said at the time.

At least three women filed a complaint with the SCV Sheriff’s Station seeking justice for abusive statements Falsey allegedly made to them.

More than a handful of women shared experiences of unwanted phone messages — allegedly from Falsey — on social media and with The Signal in an effort to get something done.

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