Criminal Law keyed to Dripps
United States v. Dykes
The French-American International School (FAIS) in San Francisco, California, hired British citizen, Isabel Dykes (Defendant), to teach mathematics. The school gave Defendant the appropriate paperwork to complete so that should could obtain a J-1 visa. Shortly after beginning her employment, Defendant and FAIS had a falling out. The school decided to terminate Defendant’s employment and advised her that her J-1 visa would become “null and void” as a result. Defendant and her boyfriend responded by writing a letter to FAIS. The heading of the letter noted that it would detail “[t]he illegal methods systematically used by FAIS to damage those teachers hired from abroad” (emphasis in original). Defendant’ letter referred to the “illegal” manner in which FAIS tried to harm Defendant and the “illegal extremes” to which FAIS was prepared to achieve it. Further, Defendant wrote that FAIS continuously abused U.S. laws to “illegally get rid of those teaches who refused to be intimidated and forced into submission.” As a result, Defendant claimed that she would send the letter to British and French government, as well as other authorities, and to the media. Defendant closed the letter by stating, “The only way I can see for you and FAIS to get off the hook is for you to provide Ms. Defendant with an apology” and to “immediately pay Ms. Defendant her full salary of $40,000 plus $20,000 for the damages you have caused to her.” Defendant was charged with blackmail in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 873. Defendant was convicted and she appealed.
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