The former head of a sexual harassment program at Fort Campbell in Kentucky, now a retired Army officer, was cleared of all wrongdoing after he was charged with stalking his ex-wife in a domestic dispute case in May 2013.
The charges against Lt. Colonel Darin Haas were dropped in August 2013, according to WSMV-TV. He retired from the military at the end of that year.
Haas, then 42, was accused by police in Clarksville, Tennessee, of violating a protective order and stalking his ex-wife, who he was engaged in a custody battle with at the time. Haas admitted to sending text messages he regretted, but did not stalk or harass her, the news station reported.
“I was elated. I felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders,” Haas said about the charges being dropped. “I’m just looking forward to starting the next chapter of my life without having to look over my shoulder every second. I mean, it was worse than being in Afghanistan.”
His attorney, Stacy Turner, told the Associated Press the charges were dismissed by prosecutors after a meeting revealed details of a contentious divorce. The protective order was also dropped, with a judge saying Haas’ ex-wife didn’t have enough evidence to have it issued against Haas.
“In my opinion, these charges were abuse of the process to gain an upper hand in the divorce proceedings,” Turner told the AP.
Haas’ arrest made national news because it came at a time when several other military personnel across the country were charged with sexual misconduct, including other leaders of assault prevention programs, and at a time when the military was dealing with sexual assault and harassment scandals, according to USA Today.
Haass said he was targeted by his ex-wife’s “malicious” effort to harm him.
“I’m not done being harassed,” he told USA Today. “It destroyed my focus, at least from a military standpoint, which is sad, because I really enjoyed what I was doing.”