Michael Bonert, who was sentenced to 21 years in prison for stalking his former girlfriend, Vicki Kuper, had a parole interview in Iowa on March 19, 2014. Vicki attended the hearing to protest his parole.
“During questioning he was asked if there are any pending criminal cases,” Vicki said. “First he admitted that he has filed for post conviction relief, then he said that there is an investigation that he initiated two months ago against me for perjury.
“The board was ready to grant parole today until this information came to light. After that the whole atmosphere changed. They had a very short discussion and all agreed to deny parole. They then went back to Mike and told him that since he is still pursuing me parole is denied until all litigation is resolved.”
Read Lovefraud’s original story about this case, and Vicki Kuper’s statement below:
Vicki Kuper’s statement at Michael Bonert’s parole interview
I feel like I’m just spinning my wheels being here today giving a statement. Apparently someone has made a promise to the Bonerts that Mike is going to be released. At least his dad is very confident he will be granted parole today, so confident he is telling people Mike is getting released. I’ve been contacted by people who are worried about my family’s safety, and can’t believe this is happening so soon. There is no one who knows the truth about this situation who thinks Mike will leave me alone.
Since the beginning of this back in 2008 I’ve been in many frustrating situations that have me convinced that the judicial system is broken. First I was victimized by Mike Bonert, then by a judicial system that did everything in its power to keep him out of prison, until Mike left them with no other choice but to incarcerate him. It was his refusal to take everyone’s advice to leave me alone that finally did him in. He pursued me relentlessly in person and used the courts to abuse me with his fraudulent lawsuits.
Today I am here and once again, I’m dealing with much frustration and sadness. My frustration is due to Mike’s counselor’s insistence that he is rehabilitated and that he should be released, when I know better. I know that nothing has changed in Mike’s mind. He still claims things about me that are not true, still tells lies, even at these interviews, he is still defiant and shows no remorse.
I am also frustrated that you, the Board of Parole members, consider releasing him because it’s what his counselor recommends. We aren’t here because of Mike’s behavior in prison; we are here because of what he’s done to my family outside of prison. His counselors have only one side of the story, Mike’s. They have no idea what the truth of the situation is. I am also very frustrated that these people who, due to their supposed education in counseling, should know better than to take the word of a criminal, yet they have completely fallen for the sob story Mike tells them. He is the classic inmate who claims he is innocent and has been done wrong by being incarcerated. We all know about these inmates, and I don’t understand how these counselors cannot see through the lies and manipulation.
I’ve listened to Dean Gleason give a glowing recommendation for Mike, saying, among other things, “I have to commend Bonert for his accomplishments and I welcome his pleasant demeanor when meeting with him. My only regret is that I don’t have more offenders like him on my caseload.” On cross examination, Gleason admitted that he had met with Mike for less than an hour total. I wonder if he gave that wonderful review with the knowledge that Mike was suing me for almost $50,000 while he was being such a model inmate. That hearing was in 2010. Mike continued with the lawsuit, with the aid of his parents, until 2012 when it finally went to court and he lost.
Then there’s Mary Pepples, another counselor of Mike’s. During the same hearing she testified, “I believe he recognizes his charge and what he’s done, and he is so willing to do better, and I think that he does understand that and he is working towards that. I think he has done really well.” I also wonder if she was aware of his continued pursuit of me in the courtroom, with his goal being to make me lose my home and render my family homeless.
Neither of these people are me, the person Mike is obsessed with.
I’m going to read you a portion of a victim impact statement I read in court. I said, “Mike knew exactly how to manipulate me when he wanted to date me. When I quit dating him, he knew exactly how to manipulate the Delaware County Sheriff’s deputies in order to discredit me. He knows exactly who to manipulate at the prison to get released. His counselors didn’t date Mike Bonert, so they wouldn’t have the same experiences I’ve had with him.” He is once again successfully manipulating people to get what he wants.
When someone is remorseful and has changed, the lies stop. He is continuing with his post-conviction relief claim that his truck broke down backed into a driveway that just happens to face the home I lived in, less than two hours after bailing out of jail on charges of violating the order of protection.
I sent a photo of our home that is under construction with a statement for the victim coordinator to give to you. I have with me a current photo of the progress now that it has warmed up. As you can see, much has been done in the past few weeks, but our home is not closed in or secure. When my home in Delhi was being built, I discovered that Mike was showing up when I wasn’t there, acting like he was still in my life to the contractors and going through my home. Mike is someone who lurks around at night and the thought of him going into my current home that is under construction makes me sick. I’m sure you can imagine the things he could do to it. If he were released now this would be a huge risk.
Another issue is that I have a son who is still attending school in Delhi, the town Mike calls his. When my daughter was a student there, she attended a scholarship ceremony in the spring of 2010. Mike showed up at the ceremony, stood looking around, then went and sat in the bleachers 5 or 6 people away from my daughter. He did this in spite of the order of protection. He also did this in spite of the probation agreement he signed which stated he was not to be within 50 feet of any of us. Mike was charged but due to pure corruption, was found not guilty. In the magistrate’s decision, she actually admonished my daughter for not leaving the ceremony if she was uncomfortable. My son is a senior at that school. He will be attending that same ceremony this spring. If Mike is released how is anyone going to stop him from doing the same thing he did to my daughter? Mike now has a magistrate’s order pretty much stating that he can go to the ceremony, and he can sit within a few feet of my family. This is a situation my family should not have to deal with, but we will be forced to if Mike is released. A scholarship is awarded in memory of his deceased brother, and I’m sure Mike plans to be there if he’s out of prison. As a side note, Mike’s dad called me after the ceremony asking what my daughter was doing there, as if she had no right to attend a ceremony at her own school. This is an example of the attitude of entitlement this family has.
Of utmost concern to me is the fact that the plan seems to be to release Mike to live with his parents. To be honest, I am truly shocked that gradual release has not been considered for Mike. He is a high risk to re-offend. If you were to do some reading into the history of Mike’s behavior, when you give him an inch he will take a mile. When Mike manipulated the courts to allow him to drive on the road I lived on, the judge allowed him to for farming purposes only. In the Iowa Court of Appeals ruling on Mike’s appeal of the fifth stalking charge, the judges said, “Bonert soon took advantage of these new conditions and began driving slowly past Lahr’s house again.” They could see things clearly in this situation.
Releasing Mike to live with his parents will be too much freedom, too fast and I am sure he will not handle it appropriately. It is a proven fact about Mike that his parents have no control over his behavior. Mike does what he wants. They also have not hesitated to lie for him in the past and are known to be enablers.
Due to Mike’s history of putting himself in my presence within hours of release from incarceration, I strongly urge you to order that I be notified of the day of his release, when that day comes. Failure to do so could be deadly for my family. We need to be informed of his release immediately, before he has time to show up at our home.
Finally, I am asking for time for my family to get things in order. I believe our home will be close to being done, if not done, by the end of August. My son graduates from Maquoketa Valley in Delhi, the town Mike calls his, this spring. He then goes to college in August. After that our family will have no more ties to Delhi.