Freeport Flag Ladies lose bid for protection order

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FREEPORT — A judge in West Bath District Court on Monday denied an extension of a protection-from-abuse order sought by the three Freeport Flag Ladies against James Roux III.

Justice Beth Dobson decided late Monday afternoon that the allegations against Roux were unfounded, according to his attorney, Michael Whipple. Flag ladies Elaine Greene, Carmen Footer and JoAnn Miller obtained the temporary protection order against Roux, who they said they feared and who they claimed was harassing them.

“It took all day long,” Whipple said after the seven-hour hearing. “(Roux’s) conduct did not rise to the levcl of intimidation or harassment.”

The Flag Ladies testifed before Dobson in the morning court session. Roux testified in the afternoon, as did his mother, Liza Moore.

Police arrested Roux during last fall’s annual 9/11 ceremony – an event the Flag Ladies always participate in – on a charge of disorderly conduct. The women claimed Roux harassed them in a local coffee shop, and on the porch of their home. They obtained the protection order on Dec. 5, following the coffee shop incident.

Roux’s  father died when terrorists crashed an airplane into the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.

Whipple said that his client has no plans to go back out on the sidewalk with his mother.

“The goal really wasn’t about  them,” Whipple said. “It was about the message. He wanted the world to know that he didn’t harass them.”

The Freeport Flag Ladies have been waving American flags every Tuesday morning on the corner of School and Main streets on behalf of people killed on 9/11 and in respect for veterans. Moore, meanwhile, has been demonstrating in recent weeks on behalf of Syrian refugees looking to enter the U.S.

Moore had been standing on the other side of the street, but on Dec. 15 she showed up first and took the flag ladies’ accustomed spot on the sidewalk. The flag ladies moved to the other side of the street. Moore said she took the spot because that’s where people are looking for that type of activity.

A rally for the Flag Ladies on Dec. 22 turned somber after a pedestrian was hit by a car and injured. Rhoda O’Leary of Norway, who was supporting the Flag Ladies, suffered injuries that were not life-threatening.