August 22, 2013

Portland man charged with trespassing at Taylor Swift's house

Joseph Bernatche, 55, allegedly handed a security guard a note telling her to call him and leaving his cellphone number.

The Associated Press

SOUTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. — Authorities say a Maine man went to the Rhode Island beach house of singer-songwriter Taylor Swift and handed a security guard a note with his cellphone number on it that told her to call him.

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Singer-songwriter Taylor Swift


He has been charged with trespassing.

Police said they gave 55-year-old Joseph Bernatche a no-trespass notice after he allegedly was on Swift's property in April for a similar reason.

Bernatche, of Portland, is due in court Friday in Rhode Island for a pretrial conference. He has pleaded not guilty to a charge of willful trespass after his July 27 arrest.

His attorney, Michael J. Robinson, said Bernatche was not on Swift's Westerly property when he delivered the note, so he did not trespass.

Robinson said he doesn't know whether Bernatche has met Swift.

Bernatche's sister, who lives in Bangor, declined to comment on the arrest when contacted by phone Thursday.

Neighbors of Bernatche at his former Portland residence said he suffers from an unknown mental illness, and had acted erratically before.

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