Alexandra Eileen Martin / Polk County Jail
Alexandra Martin, 26, speaks with defense attorney Peter Berger outside the Polk County Courthouse on Tuesday. / Grant Rogers/The Register
A woman arrested in Des Moines in August after allegedly stalking the three brothers in pop music band Hanson didn’t know she was barred from being at the group’s concerts.
Alexandra Eileen Martin, 26, told a Polk County judge on Tuesday afternoon that she received marketing emails from the band inviting her to shows. Martin was arrested and charged with three counts of violating a no-contact order on Aug. 28 after the band’s manager spotted her in the crowd at the band’s Nightfall on the River show at Simon Estes Amphitheater.
In a short trial on Tuesday, Martin admitted that she knew that in May the three brothers filed an emergency restraining order in Tulsa County, Okla. where they live. On the advice of a detective who served her with the paperwork, she didn’t go to a June 11 hearing and a judge extended the no-contact order preventing her from being within 300 yards of the brothers, she said.
But Martin testified that she was never served with the order, and when she came to the brothers’ concert in Des Moines she didn’t know she wasn’t supposed to be there. When the story of her arrest was picked up by national news outlets it was embarrassing to be the “Hanson stalker,” she said.
“I was absolutely shocked and embarrassed…and just so hurt and perplexed and confused about how this all came to pass without my awareness of it,” she said in an interview. “I absolutely wish I’d gone to the final hearing.”
Martin flew in to Des Moines for the trial from Boston, where she now lives with her parents. She’d taken classes at New York University in English and journalism and intends to re-enroll at the school, she said.
At trial, defense attorney Peter Berger argued that since Martin didn’t know about the no-contact order she shouldn’t be found guilty. Though she admitted to Des Moines police that she knew she’d been served with “paperwork,” she thought the police meant the temporary order, he said.
The band, best known for their 1996 hit “MMMBop,” filed the order after an “incident” in May.
Martin said she doesn’t own weapons and has never been in legal trouble. Before the brothers filed the order in May, Martin sang as part of a choir on one of the band’s recordings, she testified. She’d been at shows in Minneapolis and Pennsylvania without any trouble, she said.
Martin told police in August that she moved to Tulsa, Okla. to be closer to the band. After her arrest, Martin spent five days in the Polk County Jail before being released after posting bond on Sept. 3.
Judge Odell McGhee will issue his ruling in the case after attorneys file additional briefs. Martin could have to return to Iowa to serve two more days in jail if found guilty.