JOHNSON COUNTY, Kan. – A plea agreement has brought a metro stalking case to an end. A judge sentenced 19-year-old Eric Kaplan to 24 months felony probation. He faced drug and stalking charges for wearing a ski mask and following an Overland Park woman as she left a grocery store last May.
She called police and when they found Kaplan, they found that ski mask, a knife, lubrication and drugs.
That woman, who asked FOX 4 not to use her name, was in the courtroom Wednesday. In a tearful statement she described how she and her nine-year-old daughter still suffer from nightmares, thinking about what could’ve happened. The woman said she doesn’t run alone anymore, doesn’t go to the store at night and carries mace.
Kaplan also addressed the court. He said he was sorry for what he’s done and he’s learned a lot through counseling and evaluation. The prosecutor said Kaplan was open and honest with the evaluator and believes that shows someone who is on the path to change.
During Kaplan’s two-year probation he cannot have any contact with the victim, cannot do drugs, and is subject to DNA testing. He could also face GPS tracking and polygraph testing, as the discretion of his probation officer.
Prosecutor Jason Covington said if Kaplan violates those terms, he could still see jail time.
“The backup sentence is 11 months in prison. And so, therefore, if he were to violate his probation in a substantial manner, the judge has the option to send him to the penitentiary rather than to jail,” Covington said.
The victim also addressed Kaplan’s parents. As she was leaving the courtroom, she looked at the couple and said “get him help.”