By Cal Coast Times Staff
A San Luis Obispo Superior Court judge Wednesday admonished Los Osos blogger Aaron Ochs for “inappropriate” behavior and “troubling” conduct for his role as a regular online detractor of CalCoastNews, co-founder and reporter Karen Velie, and her family.
“You need to step back. Step away,” Judge Charles Crandall told Ochs at the conclusion of a restraining order hearing.
Crandall declined to extend a temporary restraining order originally obtained by Velie following a July 19 incident at the county courthouse.
Ochs admitted during testimony that he had photographed Velie in the courthouse in violation of court rules, and then closely followed Velie down a courthouse hallway while calling out the names of Velie’s daughters. Ochs said he was motivated to name the daughter’s because of information he garnered from a previous financial examination hearing regarding a judgment entered against Velie and reporter Dan Blackburn in a libel suit brought by Charles Tenborg.
Ochs was not present during the exam which was attended only by Velie, Tenborg and their attorneys. At no point in the proceeding was there a suggestion that Velie transferred assets to her daughters.
“Your motivations worry me,” Crandall told Ochs.
Even so, Crandall said evidence was not “clear and convincing” that Ochs’ actions at the courthouse on July 19 rose to a level requiring an extension of the temporary restraining order signed by Judge Barry LaBarbera following the incident last month.
Ochs for several years wrote an online blog called “Cal Coast Fraud” in which he penned almost-daily articles critical of CalCoastNews, an eight-year-old online news site. During the past five years, Ochs has started multiple online sites focused on Velie including one demeaning her for a speech impediment, testimony on Aug. 17 revealed.
Following an Aug. 17 evidentiary hearing, the court thanked Stew Jenkins, Velie’s attorney, for an excellent presentation after he had been brought into the case less than 24 hours before the hearing.
In the past, Ochs had demeaned Velie’s children and incited others to join in on often sexist comments.
After one of Ochs’ commenters made sexual and demeaning comments about one of Velie’s daughters, Ochs responded with a comment about tossing bleach in her eyes. Ochs claimed the comment was satire.
During his admonishment of Ochs, Crandall noted the inappropriateness of some of Ochs’ social media posts, but that the writings were from 2015 and 2016. There is a 60-day look back period prescribed for digital cyber stalking.
Aaron Ochs and his father Ed Ochs quickly left the courthouse following Crandall’s admonition.