ABBOT – With nearly half of the murders in Maine connected to domestic violence, the father of one victim says more monitoring is needed.
Stephanie Ginn-Gebo was killed by her estranged boyfriend four years ago on Wednesday. He turned himself into the Piscataquis County Jail in Dover-Foxcroft after a lengthy manhunt.
Her father is urging the state to start an ankle bracelet monitoring program for those arrested for domestic violence.
“The state’s not going to do it so it’s up to us,” Vance Ginn said Wednesday, standing near a memorial garden planted in his daughter’s honor.
He said he’s approached legislators who have promised to write legislation to create a state-wide electronic monitoring system in Maine designed to track those charged with domestic violence, to no avail.
“If a politician came up with this idea, it would already be done,” Ginn said.
And he was angered on Wednesday to hear around $36,000 raised to set up such a program in honor of 2011 domestic violence murder victims Amy Bagley Lake and her two children, Coty and Monica, was not used for it.
“Less than a third was used for the ankle bracelet program,” Ginn said bitterly. “The rest was used to house the people that commit the crimes.”
Only four counties currently use the monitoring bracelets, he said, and Piscataquis County is not one of them. Ginn hopes to change that.
“August 24th I’m having a large fund raiser in Greenville on the wharf and I will donate all proceeds to Piscataquis County to start the ankle bracelet program,” he said.
The domestic violence awareness gathering also was held last year. This year, Ginn hopes to expand it to a day-long event.
“Last year, I had ‘Dunk a Cop’ and the fire department really took advantage of the police department,” he said. “So this year we’re going to have ‘Dunk What You Want’ a fireman or an officer and let’s see who raises the most money.”
The couple already has about $2,000 raised from last year’s domestic violence awareness gathering, where they gave away domestic violence bracelets with Stephanie’s name.
“I think it’s sad that people have to fund raise to do this,” said Angel Ginn. “I think it should be a state-run program because it works.”
Ginn said with technology today it makes no sense that the state hasn’t already initiated a program.