WASHINGTON News: Maryland Man, Ranjith Keerikkattil Found Guilty of Stalking Former Co-Worker, Now Accused of Fleeing U.S. to Iceland

WASHINGTON News: Maryland Man, Ranjith Keerikkattil Found Guilty of Stalking Former Co-Worker, Now Accused of Fleeing U.S. to Iceland

Defendant Left Country Soon After Verdict

WASHINGTON – Ranjith Keerikkattil, 30, of Catonsville, Md., has been found guilty by a jury of stalking a junior co-worker, starting while they were both employed at a consulting firm, and continuing after he was fired, U.S. Attorney Jessie K. Liu announced today.

Keerikkatil was found guilty of the stalking charge on July 9, 2018, following a trial in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. The Honorable Robert A. Salerno released Keerikkatil following the verdict, pending sentencing. The judge ordered him to appear the next morning to have a GPS monitoring device installed.  However, he failed to appear, and fled the United States to Iceland.  A grand jury subsequently indicted him on July 11, 2018, on a charge of violating the Bail Reform Act. He will be re-arrested upon his return to the United States.

According to the government’s evidence at trial, the criminal conduct began in May 2015, while Keerikkatil was a senior consultant at a consulting firm in Rosslyn, Va.  The victim, who resided at the time in the District of Columbia, had begun her first job out of college in 2015 as a business technology analyst for the firm. Keerikkattil was her first mentor on her first project.  After the victim performed countless evening and weekend hours on the project, Keerikkattil, told her that he only brought her onto the project to get close to her and that he was merely giving her busy work. He ignored her wishes to keep their relationship strictly professional and continued to pursue her. After she repeatedly tried to resolve the matter herself, she reported Keerikkattil, on June 1, 2015, to her human resources counselor.

Keerikkattil was fired on June 19, 2015, for not being forthcoming about his conduct, which was captured on texts between the two, during the firm’s internal investigation of the matter.  He blamed the victim for his termination and then began a stalking campaign in retaliation.  His stalking acts included publishing false allegations about the victim on the Internet and through mass e-mails to the victim and former company employees in order to seriously frighten and defame her.  When ignored, he escalated his actions.  Almost two months after being fired, he sat in a café that was frequented by company employees, including the victim.  He was able to obtain eye contact with the victim on one occasion inside this café, frightening her even more.  The victim’s attorney notified Keerikkattil, instructing him not to have any further contact with her, but he continued to text her statements like, “Every morning I wake up thinking about you and go to bed thinking about you.”

With the victim continuing to ignore him, Keerikkattil decided to take a plane almost 3,000 miles to Seattle and then rent a car and travel an additional three hours to pay an unannounced visit to the victim’s parents in a remote suburb of Portland, Ore. On Oct. 24, 2015, he knocked on the door to the victim’s childhood home, which was at the bottom of a long driveway, and asked her father for directions to the nearby parks. It took a moment for the father to piece things together. Once he was able to figure out whom the defendant was, he slammed and locked the door and called 911. Keerikkattil texted the victim shortly thereafter, “Was nice meeting your dad today.” An arrest warrant was obtained shortly thereafter, and Keerikkattil was arrested on Dec. 19, 2015, and charged with stalking.

Before fleeing to Iceland, the defendant was scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 14, 2018, facing 12 months of incarceration for the stalking charge.  He now also faces an additional maximum of five years of incarceration if convicted of the felony Bail Reform Act charge.  The charge in the indictment is merely an allegation, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

In announcing the stalking verdict, U.S. Attorney Jessie K. Liu commended the work of those who investigated the case from the Metropolitan Police Department. She also acknowledged the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Paralegal Specialists Lynda Randolph and Stephanie Siegerist, Victim/Witness Advocate Jennifer Allen, and Victim/Witness Services Coordinator La June Thames.

Finally, she commended the work of Assistant U.S. Attorneys Ethan Carroll and Kristina Wolf, who assisted in investigating the case, and Assistant U.S. Attorney John Giovannelli who prosecuted and tried the case to verdict.

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SOURCE: news provided by JUSTICE.GOV on Thursday, July 12, 2018.