Bail set at $25,000 in stalking case

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BENNINGTON — A judge has set bail at $25,000 for a Warrensburg, New York man accused of stalking an Arlington resident last month.

Michael Fuschino, 58, had been held in custody since his arrest by Vermont State Police on July 31. He faces a felony charge of aggravated stalking and misdemeanor charge of violating an order against stalking. He has pleaded not guilty to both charges.

The total bail amount can be secured by a $5,000 deposit, Judge John Valente ruled at a hearing Monday in Bennington County Superior Court. The judge also imposed several conditions of release on the defendant, including a ban on contacting the complainant in the case.

The alleged victim told police on July 14 that Fuschino had thrown eggs at her car, according to an affidavit written by Trooper Raymond Witkowski. The Arlington resident also allegedly had received "numerous threatening and harassing text messages" she suspected Fuschino of sending.

The next day, the complainant obtained a court order that forbade Fuschino from contacting her, the affidavit says. Fuschino allegedly egged her car on several occasions later that same month.

Police arrested Fuschino after he agreed to meet with a trooper at a fishing access lot in Arlington, according to the affidavit. Before the meet-up, Fuschino claimed the complainant had "been making untrue allegations against him."

Fuschino has "a lengthy criminal history" that includes at least five felony convictions in New York, according to the police affidavit.

At the time of Fuschino's arrest, his vehicle contained a bag of $7,189, which law enforcement has held in evidence. The defendant's attorney, Jonathan Ward, said in court that the cash represents "basically all that's left of [Fuschino's] parents' estate." Fuschino is unemployed and has a limited income, according to Ward, who is seeking to have the seized funds returned to his client.

At Ward's request, Judge Valente also ordered Fuschino to undergo a competency exam.

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