In another twist to the investigation into Jane Bashara’s death, almost three weeks after Ms. Gillette was granted the PPO, the mother of Jane Bashara, Lorraine Engelbrecht, also filed a police report against Mr. Bashara accusing him of harassing her via phone.
Bob Bashara’s alleged mistress Rachel Gillette filed for, and was granted, a personal protection order on April 26 against Mr. Bashara. Clearly, these accusations raise significant questions about Mr. Bashara’s contact with Ms. Gillette following his wife’s death, and more importantly, the apparent threatening nature of this contact and the contact with Jane’s mother.
For a judge to grant a personal protection order in Michigan, the law requires that the person filing the action show that another person engaged in certain threatening conduct.
For example, evidence that someone is being stalked would likely provide a basis for a PPO. In addition, an individual may be granted a PPO if they can show that another person is likely to engage in that same conduct.
The standard of proof is reasonable cause, which is akin to the “probable cause” term so often bandied about in the law.
Ms. Gillette was apparently able to convince a judge, without a hearing, that Mr. Bashara was engaging in conduct specifically prohibited by the PPO law. It also seems clear that Mr. Bashara was told by his attorney to refrain from contacting Ms. Gillette but continued to do so. Ms. Engelbrecht faces a similar challenge in convincing a judge that Mr. Bashara’s conduct was adverse to the PPO law.
It will be interesting to see how these accusations affect Ms. Gillette’s and Ms. Engelbrecht’s involvement in any criminal action taken against Mr. Bashara. Witnesses are often nervous to come to court and testify, and with these additional layers of apparent threatening behavior, it is hard to tell how that might impact any potential testimony from both women, particularly Ms. Gillette.
It’s unmistakable that these accusations do not bode well for Mr. Bashara’s character in the eyes of the public. Mr. Bashara seems to be developing a pattern of threatening behavior with people around him. David Griem, Mr. Bashara’s attorney, has been fighting the media and public fire against Mr. Bashara with his own fire. As Mr. Griem continues to defend Mr. Bashara in a public forum, these new accusations will only make Mr. Griem’s task more difficult. More importantly, if charges are filed against Mr. Bashara, it will be interesting to see how these allegations affect his character in a legal context.