BENNINGTON — A Bennington candidate for the open U.S. Senate seat in Vermont has been criminally charged with violating an abuse prevention order and, in turn, has sued the police officer who arrested him, the Bennington state’s attorney prosecuting him and the judge who arraigned him.
Kerry Raheb, 54, of Bennington, is charged with the one misdemeanor count, which carries a maximum sentence of one year of imprisonment and a possible $5,000 fine, if convicted.
The protective order that Raheb is accused of violating concerns alleged stalking. According to an affidavit in the case, on Aug. 6 of this year, Raheb had illegal contact with the individual, while the person was maintaining Blue Stone Road with an excavator. According to the victim, Raheb started to lay on his horn aggressively behind the excavator.
As the victim was in the process of moving the excavator out of the way, Raheb allegedly sped up, almost hitting the machine as he drove past. Raheb then stopped the vehicle he was driving and started to scream “get off my property,” calling the victim an obscenity before driving away. That person told police at the scene that he believed that Raheb was going strike the excavator with his car.
Raheb is under a temporary stalking order for allegedly making threats toward the victim on at least one occasion. A violation of an order against stalking can be punished as a crime and criminal contempt, both punishable by fines or jail.
Raheb also requested a stalking order against the victim; that order, dating back to June 2022, is still ongoing.
Raheb has, since his arrest in August, sued the former officer in the case, Amanda Knox; State’s Attorney Erica Marthage; and a trial judge in Bennington, Kerry McDonald-Cary, all in Small Claims Court, for $5,000 each, the maximum allowed in the state.
McDonald-Cary has, since Sept. 22, recused herself from presiding over the criminal violation case, as she is now a defendant in the suit. He has also sued another person that has a stalking order, which he claims is fraudulent, against him.
Raheb is acting as his own attorney in the criminal case. He filed a motion to dismiss the case on Thursday, on the grounds that Knox falsified the police affidavit, which resulted in his wrongful arraignment on Sept. 19. He claimed in the motion that Knox never spoke in person with him, his wife or his son, whom he says were in the car at the time of the incident. The affidavit, however, mentions a telephone conversation Knox had with Raheb before any charges were filed, as well as other witnesses to the incident.
Raheb is an independent candidate for U.S. Senate for the seat vacated by the retiring Patrick Leahy. He has a website where citizens can donate, volunteer and read about his views on such things as America’s broken immigration system, global elites, unconstitutional federal mask mandates, voter ID, energy independence and fighting “tyrannical politicians that created a worldwide mental health crisis.” Included are quotes from the former President of the United States, Donald Trump. Raheb vows to donate 90 percent of his salary, if elected, to Vermonters, and rails against Peter Welch and Bernie Sanders, calling the latter an “American disgrace.”
In a brief email exchange with the Banner, Raheb claimed the charge eventually will be dropped.
He claims that the lawsuits were filed to protect his family.
When reached by the Banner, Raheb said, “slander and defamation is coming as you parrot the lies. You have no clue what you are doing. Be guided accordingly.”
He also claimed a news story on his alleged violation was in itself violating his confidentiality. In Vermont, criminal cases, including affidavits and case history, are public information.