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Ex-Fort Campbell officer cleared of stalking charge

Aug. 24, 2013 - 11:00AM   |  
Lt. Col. Darin Haas, 43, a former Fort Campbell sexual assault prevention officer has been cleared of an aggravated stalking charge brought against him by his ex-wife in May — but he says his reputation and career have been ruined.
Lt. Col. Darin Haas, 43, a former Fort Campbell sexual assault prevention officer has been cleared of an aggravated stalking charge brought against him by his ex-wife in May — but he says his reputation and career have been ruined. (Courtesy Clarksville (Tenn.) Police)
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A former Fort Campbell sexual assault prevention officer has been cleared of an aggravated stalking charge brought against him by his ex-wife in May — but he says his reputation and career have been ruined.

A judge this week dismissed a stalking charge and a charge that Lt. Col. Darin Haas, 43, violated a protective order by sending life-threatening text messages to his ex-wife. A judge had already ruled earlier this month that there wasn’t sufficient cause for the woman to have a protection order against him.

Haas, whose retirement from the Army will be finalized in December, had served as the post’s Sexual Harassment and Assault Response Prevention program manager. He was replaced after his arrest.

Stacy Turner, Haas’ attorney, said a meeting with police and prosecutors revealed the details of a contentious divorce, leading authorities to voluntarily dismiss charges against Haas. A judge’s order finalized that decision Wednesday.

“In my opinion, these charges were abuse of the process to gain an upper hand in the divorce proceedings,” she said.

An attorney for Haas’ ex-wife said the protection order was dismissed for technical reasons.

“An order of protection requires a finding that there was an immediate threat before the order is issued. In this situation, this gentlemen has presented difficulties to her — the problem was, it did not occur immediately before the issuance of the order,” attorney Mark Olson said. “My client wants to be left alone.”

Court records show Haas sent threatening and sexually charged messages to his ex-wife almost a year before she requested an order of protection.

Restoring a reputation

In a phone interview Friday, Haas told The Tennessean he will have to fight to get his good name back.

“I don’t know if I’m going to be able to do that,” he said. “When you Google me, you don’t find anything good.”

His arrest came as several other military personnel across the nation had been charged in incidents of sexual misconduct, including other leaders of assault prevention programs. Stories of his arrest spread through news sites and blogs.

He said that he had planned to keep working in sexual assault prevention or equal opportunity employment offices, but that he may have to find another career.

He said he’s still contending with divorce-related legal proceedings amplified by his ex-wife’s “malicious” effort against him.

“I’m not done being harassed,” he said. “It destroyed my focus, at least from a military standpoint, which is sad, because I really enjoyed what I was doing.”

Haas said he is engaged and planning a wedding and looks forward to the “next chapter” in his life.

A Fort Campbell representative declined to comment on the case.

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