Young woman stalked for 8 long years speaks out about her ordeal

Posted at 10:54 PM, Nov 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-17 23:37:00-05

A family from Oakland County is describing what could be a nightmare for any parent. They say the legal system is still failing to protect their daughter from a stalker.

"In my case it was someone that went to my high school. He was a senior and I was a freshman. I didn't know him and didn't talk to him," says the victim whom we are not naming.

Speaking out for the first time, the University of Michigan student describes how she first encountered an accused stalker when she was just 14-years-old and he was 18-years-old.

She says the older student developed an infatuation with her and that was just the start.

"Following her, taking pictures of her. Grabbing her in the hallway," says her father.

Her parents say the older student was kicked out of Bloomfield Hills schools, but never stopped harassing their daughter.

When personal protection orders weren't enough, her parents say they finally pressed charges in Oakland County court in 2014.

"He was continuing to stalk her. He was just more covert this time, contacting her through social media and other outlets" says her father.

But records show Jieyuan Ding never faced a jury. Instead prosecutors agreed to a plea deal of not guilty by reason of insanity.

Ding was treated for months at a state run psychiatric facility in Saline, then eventually released. Soon after his release, the victims family says the stalking started happening again.

Her father says, "This is a father's worst nightmare. As a dad, I've done everything I can to protect her and our legal system continues to let her down."

Yet again, prosecutors have now filed charges, this time in Washtenaw County, where the victim had moved on to college.

Now, for the second time, a defense attorney is seeking another plea deal of not guilty by reason of insanity. That's after another psychiatric evaluation from the very same facility that treated and released him once before.

Neither Ding nor his attorney would speak with us, but Birmingham psychiatrist Dr. Howard Belkin says it's possible someone could avoid prison time by intentionally displaying signs of insanity.

"It is possible that someone who has an expert opinion and knowledge of a mental disorder, could use that knowledge and confuse or deceive an expert in the area" says Belkin.

He adds, "In all criminal cases, it's probably a defense that's used in about 1% of all criminal cases across the country. Of that 1%, only a quarter of them are successful."

The victim's mother tells us what's at stake is her daughter's sense of security.

"With a felony conviction, our daughter gets protected, her rights become more protected, he would have a parole officer and have to check in periodically," she says. "She will be made aware of his whereabouts."

Washtenaw County prosecutors have also refused to speak with us on camera.

For a victim, it's another sign of a broken system that somehow has kept her living in fear.

In the meantime experts say you can protect yourself by calling police, getting a personal protection order, and coming up with a personal safety plan.

Mr. Ding is due back in court within 2 weeks for another pretrial hearing. We'll be there to monitor all the important developments as they unfold.