BUFFALO, N.Y. - Michael Reibel is going to prison for stalking an ex-girlfriend. In an exclusive interview with 2 On Your Side's Claudine Ewing, his victim said Reibel "is where he needs to be," and that's a state prison for the next 13-and one-third to 16-years.
The female victim's identity was blurred on television as she described her relationship with a man she met as a child, but hadn't spoken to in 20-years until he reached out on Facebook.
They dated for just five months. She says when they broke up, the stalking behavior started. "He started just text messaging me, asking where I was, why I wasn't home, why I'm not answering the text messages, or phone calls. He would text me all hours sometimes it would be in the afternoon, then I would get a text message at 12 a.m. 3 a.m. 6 a.m. and then he would show up at my house."
At one point it got physical and police were called. "It escalated to the point where one day I was home in the afternoon and he barged through the back door of my house and grabbed my cell phone from me, took it. He was physical with me. I called 911 and they issued the restraining order."
During his sentencing, Reibel apologized, "I pray that you feel safe and find comfort knowing how remorseful I am for everything that has happened."
His victim said "it was hard to hear what he had to say but it reassured me he is where he needs to be."
She is speaking out to help other women. "To help other women and hopefully let them know not to be afraid, to be strong enough." At one point she second-guessed everything. "I was questioning myself and you just don't think its going to escalate to the point that it does, and I guess I'm here today to say, listen to the red flags, and just use your gut instincts."
State Supreme Court Justice Deborah A. Haendiges also issued an order of protection preventing Reibel from having any contact with the victim until July 19, 2039. This is the third time in 15-years that Reibel was convicted of a criminal contempt charge for violating a restraining order for harassing an ex-girlfriend.
A jury convicted Reibel of Stalking in the Third Degree, Criminal Contempt in the First Degree, Burglary in the Second Degree and Unlawful Imprisonment in the Second Degree.
Riebel was found guilty of stalking his former girlfriend and violating an order of protection several times starting May 30, 2015. The jury also found Reibel guilty of breaking into the victim’s home on July 21, 2015, abducting her and holding her against her will for several hours.