The trial date has been set for former NAU interior design professor Melissa Ann Santana for May 1.
Santana was arrested in October by the United States Forest Service and federal law enforcement officials for alleged online stalking, harassment and making false statements to federal officials.
The alleged harassment was directed toward U.S. Forest Service Globe Hotshots and an NAU student from February 2015 through September 2017. U.S. District Court documents showed Santana allegedly used “many different identities, email addresses, social media accounts and temporary telephone numbers" when stalking the three men. The court documents also showed Santana had a history of stalking and harassment.
The three victims had personal relationships with Santana before the alleged harassment and stalking occurred. The men then encountered Santana's online harassment and said they were fooled by her false social media accounts.
According to court documents, the two Hotshot victims received several messages under multiple false names. The messages between the two Hotshots also showed a wide range of emotions from Santana. The messages seemed to be nice and sweet, then contained extremely harsh and threatening words. Court documents also show Santana was accused of allegedly harassing an NAU student by phone, email and through Facebook messages not only to the student, but his friends as well.
Santana pleaded not guilty to three counts of making false statements to law enforcement officers and five counts of stalking.
Santana will not speak to government officials without having her lawyer present.
Since October 2017, Santana has been held under the custody of the U.S. Attorney General. However, in January she was faced with an arrest warrant for failing to attend her previous court date on January 3. The trial was set to be held in the U.S. Post Office building in Prescott, Arizona. According to the Arizona Daily Sun, the Coconino Superior Court had filed the arrest warrant, which means Santana is also facing state charges. Because of this, Santana now faces arrest charges in addition to her five counts of felony stalking based on charges from the U.S. District Court.
According to court documents, if Santana is convicted she can face up to a maximum of 40 years in jail.