Sullivan County couple claims neighbor is harassing them for being gay; neighbor says dispute is over cats

A Sullivan County couple says they are being harassed by a neighbor for being gay - but that neighbor says their dispute is about cats and not sexual orientation.

News 12 Staff

Jun 29, 2020, 9:29 PM

Updated 1,423 days ago

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A Sullivan County couple says they are being harassed by a neighbor for being gay - but that neighbor says their dispute is about cats and not sexual orientation.
Wade St. Germain and his husband, RJ Baker, are openly gay business owners in the small hamlet of Parksville in Sullivan County.
While they love their community, they don't love their neighbor, who they say has been harassing them because of their sexual orientation for years.

"He said that I had AIDS and I was giving it to all of our customers," says Baker. "He head-butted RJ on our own property."
The Sullivan County District Attorney's Office confirms the couple has a restraining order against their neighbor, Joe Peters, and that there's a long list of pending criminal charges - including one for an incident caught on camera in which Peters is allegedly seen hitting the couple's friend in the back of the head.
But officials say there's no evidence to show that any of the incidents are hate crimes and that Peters' family says the incidents are part of a longtime dispute between both sets of neighbors over land and stray cats.
"He's making it into something it's not...It has nothing to do with them being gay. I don't care what you do behind closed doors...," says Peters.
The couple says otherwise and that they are concerned for their safety after their window was shot with a BB gun by someone on Wednesday.
The Peters family claims they're also being subjected to harassment, and say they have evidence to prove it. They say St. Germain and Baker RJ have been killing stray cats, an allegation the couple strongly denies.


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