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Mass Text On New Year’s Eve Lands Woman In Jail

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(credit: CBS) John Lauritsen
John Lauritsen is a reporter from Montevideo, Minn. He joined WCCO-...
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WINONA, Minn. (WCCO) — A “Happy New Year” text landed a Minnesota woman in jail for two days.

Jennifer Bartsch, 39 of Winona, said she sent out a mass text to everyone in her phone. That happened to include a man who had a restraining order against her.

“Due to that Happy New Year text it wasn’t so happy after all,” said Bartsch.

On New Year’s Eve, Bartsch’s entire contact list of more than 50 people, received a “Happy New Year” text from her. One of those people wanted nothing to do with her well wishes.

“The next day I received a pounding at my door saying I was being arrested for violation of an order,” said Bartsch.

The violation stemmed from a restraining order Bartsch’s ex-boyfriend has against her. She said the two owned a house together, but broke up last April. Bartsch said they argued over the property repeatedly, he got a restraining order and a mass holiday text that included his number was all it took to violate that.

She’s spent the past two days in jail.

“It felt like an eternity, but it was only two days,” said Bartsch.

Bartsch got out of jail Tuesday afternoon, and has since deleted her ex-boyfriend’s number from her phone. She claims she didn’t know it was still in her phone and calls it a simple mistake. She’s hoping a judge sees it the same way.

“I work full-time, have children and I abide by the law. I can’t believe this is happening over one text. I felt I had kept my end of the bargain and hadn’t talked to him in months. Now this happens on New Year’s,” said Bartsch.

Bartsch’s next court appearance is Jan. 12. She could face a fine or more jail time. Her ex-boyfriend could not be reached for comment.

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