WARSAW — An Atwood man is facing multiple criminal charges after continuously messaging and threatening a woman while violating a protective order.
Christopher Ryan Bartz, 42, 221 S. Wray St., Atwood; also showing an address of 2012 Versailles Village Place, Fort Wayne; is charged with two counts of stalking, both level 5 felonies; two counts of intimidation and four counts of invasion of privacy with a prior conviction enhancement, all level 6 felonies; and four counts of invasion of privacy, all class A misdemeanors.
On Nov. 1, 2019, a woman filed a protective order against Bartz, which was served on Dec. 6, 2019. With the exception of discussing parenting time, the order prohibits Bartz from harassing, annoying, telephoning, contacting, or directly or indirectly communicating with the woman.
According to court documents, between Dec. 29, 2019, and Feb. 20, 2020, Bartz sent hundreds of text messages unrelated to parenting time to the woman. Many of the messages were allegedly vulgar and threatening in nature, including messages sent on Jan. 6 threatening to disseminate private photos of the woman without her consent. The messages were sent in an attempt to coerce the woman into recanting prior statements to the police. Also during that time period were messages ordering the woman to accept Bartz’s calls, to contact him or respond to his texts.
Since the service of the protective order, Bartz has been arrested and convicted of three separate cases of invasion of privacy, all with the woman as the victim. In the first case, Bartz sent the woman approximately 43 text messages in a period of two hours, following service of the protective order. In the second case, Bartz sent the woman over 700 text messages in a four-hour time period. In the third case, the woman received several texts and phone calls of a threatening nature. It was also alleged that Bartz hacked into the woman’s voicemail account.
On Dec. 27, 2019, formal charges were filed against Bartz for two counts of domestic battery, with the incident occurring on Nov. 22, 2019. The woman is a witness in the case.
On Jan. 13, Bartz was booked on warrants in the Kosciusko County Jail. While incarcerated, Bartz left voicemail messages for the woman and enlisted the help of several people to contact the woman to tell her she needed to bail him out of jail. Bartz also wrote several letters to the woman during his incarceration.
Upon his release from jail on Feb. 20, Bartz began sending harassing and threatening text messages to the woman, according to court paperwork.
On Feb. 21, Bartz filed a protective order in Allen County, stating that he was a victim of stalking and repeated acts of harassment from the woman. The protective order was granted and prohibits the woman from harassing, annoying, contacting, or directly or indirectly communicating with Bartz. Since the order was granted, Bartz has repeatedly texted the woman in attempts to get her to violate the protective order.
According to court documents, Bartz also allegedly texted the woman over 30 times on Feb. 21. Also included in the texts were photos of a tattoo Bartz got in jail, showing a large tattoo of the woman’s name.
The woman has reported that she is extremely fearful of Bartz.
Bartz was booked in the Kosciusko County Jail on July 20, with a $50,250 surety and cash bond.