ANDOVER (WBZ) ― An Andover couple is accused of harassing their neighbors so badly and with such malice that they were arrested and face criminal charges.
The harassment allegedly started once the neighbors objected to plans the couple had for their property.
Prosecutors said the land dispute on High Vale Lane led Bill and Gail Johnson to launch a cyber attack on a neighboring couple.
"They've called Department of Social Services and made frivolous reports. They've called the Board of Health and made frivolous reports," said prosecutor Maura Officer. "This is not one incident, but a series of intentional disturbing events."
According to prosecutors, the harassment began in March with fake Craigs List postings with the victims' phone numbers and instructions not to call until after 10 p.m. The victims say they were bombarded with phone calls.
Later that month, the victims were registered for a nudist camp. Then a bogus report of abuse against the victims' 14-year old son was filed with the Department of Social Services.
"These individuals went so far as to affect the lives of children, in calling DSS, who came at 11 p.m. asking to talk to a 14 year old," Officer said. "These are the lengths they'll go to on a land dispute."
Bill and Gail Johnson were arrested Friday while they were jogging.
Defense attorney Ronald Ranta says another man, an acquaintance of the Johnsons, who has been charged in the case, is to blame.
"I suspect there is substantial question about veracity of what he claims, especially when he has a lot to get out from under," Ranta said.
Both Bill and Gail Johnson were released on bail and ordered to stay away from the victims in the case. Both could face jail time if convicted of the harassment charges against them. They also faces charges of frivolous reporting of child abuse and identity theft.