An Arizona professor is accused of stalking and harassing nearly a dozen people, including members of a local firefighting crew and a university student.
AZCentral.com reports that Melissa Ann Santana, who was until recently an associate professor of interior design at Northern Arizona University, is facing five federal charges of stalking and making false statements. Her alleged victims include hotshot firefighting crew members and an NAU student.
Santana, 36, is accused of using fake identities and multiple different email address and phone numbers to harass and threaten her victims. She allegedly made false allegations, vandalizing a former boyfriend’s car, and sending threatening messages.
The suspect, who is married, had reportedly been in a sexual relationship with one of the alleged victims, who is a hotshot firefighter. According to court records obtained by AZCentral.com, that man claimed she vandalized his car after the relationship ended and sent him harassing messages from an unknown number.
The investigation reportedly began when Santana allegedly sent an email to managers of the hotshot firefighting crew, accusing firefighters of having sex with her underage daughter at a hotel. An investigation concluded that the accusations were not true.
Investigators reportedly linked Santana to multiple phone and email accounts where the harassing messages originated.
As of November 1, she is no longer employed at Northern Arizona University. NAU Spokeswoman Kimberly Ott told AzCentral.com that she could not comment on the reasons beyond Santana’s employment ending.
Santana’s attorney Stephen Wallin told the news outlet that “we will be defending these charges vigorously.”
The suspect is scheduled for an arraignment on November 29.
[Feature image: Flagstaff Police Department]