|Baltic Witch Charged with Harassment
Baltic Man Is Charged with Harassing Teacher He Allegedly Pursued
By Kenton Robinson
October 23, 2008
Norwich - The real name of the Witch of Baltic is Rusty.
And as to his witch credentials, well, there is some question of that.
But Rusty Lee Freeman, aka the Rev. Rapid Cabot Freeman, has been arrested for stalking a Norwich teacher.
Freeman appeared in a story in The Day Tuesday, claiming he was a victim of religious discrimination in Sprague.
The first selectman, he said, had thwarted his plans to perform a demonstration of witchcraft for kids and their parents in that town's public library on Halloween.
But no sooner had the story appeared in The Day than Norwich police, who'd been seeking him on a warrant since July, arrested and charged him with second-degree harassment of Kelly Hajduk.
Freeman, of 129 High St., Baltic, was released on a $5,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in Norwich Superior Court on Nov. 6.
Hajduk said Wednesday that Freeman had pursued and harassed her, beginning in 2002, and had ignored a cease-and-desist order sent to him by her lawyer.
Finally, on July 12, she went to the police.
Hajduk and Freeman became acquainted, Hajduk said, when each of them was doing a show on public access television. Her show was "Concert Connections"; his was "The Witching Hour."
They became friends, she said, until he wanted to take it further. "The bottom line was he was just asked to leave me alone, and he didn't," she said.
In fact, she said, Freeman became hostile and threatening.
Freeman told police that he continued to call Hajduk because "I was trying to get her to testify in my divorce from my ex-wife, Alicia."
Alicia Lyon Folberth and Freeman were divorced in August, and Folberth has a restraining order against him.
Folberth has written a 20-page letter, which she posted on the Internet, alleging that Freeman abused her, which he denies.
Freeman's divorce, he said, was over his adherence to "the Cabot tradition" of witchcraft, propagated by the Witch of Salem, Laurie Cabot.
"I'm an honest guy that went through a bad divorce," he said. "But the reason I divorced her in the first place is that she wanted me to renounce the Cabot tradition."
The divorce led to his demotion from an honorary third-degree to a second-degree priest of witchcraft within the Cabot organization, he said.
Several calls to Laurie Cabot to verify his status went unreturned Wednesday.
"I've been a victim of the American system forever," Freeman said. "The only person that's harassing anybody is my ex-wife is harassing me."
Freeman said he believed he was being victimized because he wanted to do a show on Halloween to raise money to buy books for the Sprague public library.
"I'm trying to be somebody decent now and help out little kids that need books and computers, and I'm getting totally shafted with this," he said.
Hajduk said she has lived in fear of him.
"All I wanted was to be left alone," Hajduk said. "I never responded to his e-mails, I didn't even want to read them, but had to read them to copy them (for the police). All I wanted was to be left alone."
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