A Warwick man was arrested by state police shortly after Christmas for sending “crank or obscene” phone messages to Governor Gina Raimondo, not once but twice, according to court documents and a police report originally reported on by WPRI.
According to the police report released by the state police, then-37-year-old Scott Greene, of Providence Street in Warwick, sent one text message to Raimondo’s personal cell phone on Christmas Eve around 2:30 p.m. Raimondo reported this message, and Greene was arrested after he sent an additional message three days later, around 9 p.m. on Dec. 27.
The crime, found under Title 11, Chapter 35, Section 17 of the Rhode Island General Laws, is described as “crank or obscene telephone calls” and includes sending text messages “for the sole purpose of harassing, annoying, or molesting the other person or his or her family, whether or not conversation ensues…” or messaging “any person for the purpose of using any threatening, vulgar, indecent, obscene, or immoral language over the telephone.”
Greene was charged with two counts of the crime, which are misdemeanors and carry with them the possible penalties of up to $500 fines and not more than one year of imprisonment for each charge. According to WPRI, Greene was released on $1,000 personal recognizance and was ordered not to contact the governor.
According to the Rhode Island courts online portal, Greene pled not guilty to the crime and waived his right to a trial by jury on Jan. 9, 2018. He has a pretrial conference date of Tuesday, Feb. 20.
Catherine Rolfe, deputy press secretary for Governor Raimondo, said that they Governor’s Office was deferring questions to the state police. The governor has made no public comments about the incident, and the specific details or content of the text messages remain unknown.