Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

December 2, 2011

WEB UPDATE: Vale couple guilty of harassment

By Dustin Luca
STAFF WRITER

Two neighbors have been found guilty of criminally harassing now State Rep. James Lyons and his wife, Bernadette, of Andover. The events took place before Rep. Lyons ran for office.

William and Gail Johnson, both 53, of High Vale Lane, will both serve time in the House of Correction. William Johnson filed a false charge of abuse that brought DSS to the Lyonses' home one night, according to the district attorney's office. Both harassed the Lyons family through false postings on Craigslist, encouraging people to come to Lyons' house at odd hours and more, according to a press release today, Dec. 2, from the office of District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett.

Included in the harassment was that the Johnsons sent an anonymous email to the Lyons family that included the Lyonses' social security numbers. The email included the tag line, "If you aren't miserable, I ain't happy."

The motive for the harassment was a land dispute. The Lyons family opposed a home construction sought by the Johnsons.

William Johnson has been sentenced to 2 1/2 years in the House of Correction, with 18 months to be served and the balanced suspended with probation. Gail Johnson will serve six months in the House of Correction out of a two-year sentence, with the remaining balance suspended for three years with probation.

William Johnson was found guilty of filing a false report with DSS and fined $1,000. Gail Johnson was found not guilty of that charge. Both were found not guilty of identity fraud, according to the district attorney's office.

More on this story will be available the Dec. 9 print edition of the Andover Townsman.