White Bear Lake harassment suspect barred from her house

The woman accused of harassing neighbors can't go home this week, except to grab personal items, escorted by police.

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The view from Kim and Greg Hoffman’s house in White Bear Lake of the home of Lori Christensen, who has temporarily been barred from returning home.

Photo: David Joles, Star Tribune

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A White Bear Lake woman accused of the serial harassment of her neighbors was prohibited Tuesday from returning to her home -- except once, with a police escort.

District Judge George Stephenson placed the restrictions on Lori E. Christensen, 49, until she returns to court Wednesday to answer claims she violated probation by videotaping neighbors and calling authorities about suspected code violations at the neighbors' home.

For the time being, however, she is free.

As she stood outside the courthouse after her hearing, Christensen, an executive assistant at the Metropolitan Council, expressed determination to clear her name.

"I'm just trying to fight for myself," she said. "I want to give my daughter back her childhood." She did not elaborate.

She would not discuss past or current allegations against her for fear she might violate a harassment restraining order obtained by neighbors Kim and Greg Hoffman. But she described herself as "a single mom with a great job," the sole provider for her family, she said, and a former Girl Scouts and Brownies leader.

Last week, Christensen was charged with two counts of aggravated stalking in connection with the recent videotaping and phone calls. The incidents occurred after Christensen served time in the county correctional facility for violating a harassment restraining order obtained two years ago by the Hoffmans.

The two have accused Christensen of repeatedly taunting Kim Hoffman, a recovering alcoholic, with numerous signs that included a handwritten statement, "I saw mommy kissing a Breathalyzer."

Christensen's behavior has generated at least 80 calls to police in the past three years, Police Chief Lynne Bankes said last week.

Christensen went free Tuesday despite a push by prosecutor David Hunt to have her jailed without bail until her next court appearance. That appearance, initially set for Friday, was rescheduled later in the day to Wednesday morning, a Ramsey County attorney's office spokesman said.

Hunt said that Stephenson had been "very, very clear" when he sentenced Christensen in December that she was to have no contact with the Hoffmans.

"She does not care about the order," Hunt told the judge.

Greg Hoffman, who attended Tuesday's brief hearing, said outside the courtroom that the ongoing harassment -- stretching back five years -- makes Christensen a serial offender.

Stephenson ordered Christensen to stay away from her Homewood Place house. She could return just once, he said, and only with police, to pick up her dogs and some personal items. He added she could not speak to authorities about the Hoffmans even if the couple's house was on fire. "You will not be the one to call 911 to report it," the judge said.

Outside the courthouse, Christensen said she has owned her home for 12 years and always had a job. She cried when she spoke of her daughter.

"The worst thing I do is smoke," she said. "I smoke too many cigarettes."

She had smoked three during the post-courtroom interview before her attorney, Gary Wolf, called her to a meeting at a downtown coffee shop.

Anthony Lonetree • 612-875-0041

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