A 55-year-old man has been charged with trespassing on the country songbird’s Rhode Island mansion last month and trying to pass a note to one of her security guards that included his phone number.
Joseph Bernatche is due in court Friday to answer to one count of “willful trespass” for the alleged intrusion that occurred on July 27.
The fan’s lawyer, Michael Robinson of RoboLaw, denied the trespassing allegation, saying his client was simply “trying to get a message to her,” not to mention the digits to his cell.
“He was trying to pass a note to the security guard to give presumably to Ms. Swift,” Robinson told E! News.
“I think they overreacted a little bit and I think they wanted to quash the situation. There was an allegation he trespassed…but the arresting officer took him into custody before an investigation was actually conducted.”
Robinson also questioned whether Bernatche had even been on Swift’s property, noting that the Maine resident was parked on property adjacent to the “You Belong to Me” singer’s residence when he walked up to the guard, gave him his note, then left.
“No, he wasn’t on her property. But he did pass a note and they found the note disturbing and immediately assumed the worse,” the legal eagle said.
At that point, according to Robinson, the guards phoned Westerly Police who were able to track Bernatche down since the guard took note of his license plate.
Robinson described Bernatche, who’s pleaded not guilty, as a “very nice man, mid 50s, and a U.S. veteran who’s been honorably discharged.”
“He’s very pleasant, extremely polite and well-mannered,” he said.
The attorney also noted that the security team member Bernatche approached “may not have even been a guard and might have been covering for somebody.”
Alas, this isn’t the first occasion the defendant has been accused of trespassing on Swift’s property, as Robinson confirmed that Bernatche had been issued a no-trespass notice by local authorities for a visit he paid to Taylor’s abode back in April.
Because of that history, cops didn’t take any chances following his July visit and took him into custody.
Robinson told E! News he hopes he and the prosecutor can resolve the matter at today’s pre-trial hearing.Follow @Infocelebrity on Twitter!
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