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Orders of protection do help victims, law enforcement in domestic violence cases

— Brandy Dallas had an order of protection against her estranged husband, but it appears it didn’t do her any good.

In July, Justin Dallas was arrested after allegedly holding her against her will. He was charged with unlawful imprisonment, second-degree menacing, fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon and endangering the welfare of a child. A judge issued a temporary order of protection, ordering Dallas to stay away from Brandy Dallas.

But he didn’t heed the order.

According to the Onondaga County Sheriff’s Department, Dallas’s estranged husband, Justin Dallas, 26, went to the home where she was staying at 915 Second St. in the village of Liverpool, owned by Samantha Rainwater, 30, on Monday, Oct. 28. Deputies say he then argued with his wife and stabbed both Brandy Dallas and Rainwater multiple times. A third woman in the home, who has not been identified, received superficial wounds, as well as minor injuries when Dallas pushed her down the stairs. Dallas was apprehended by Liverpool Village Police and Onondaga County Sheriff’s Deputies. He has been charged with murder in the first degree, two counts of murder in the second degree and criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree. He pleaded not guilty and is being held without bail.

So what good is an order of protection? Is it worth any more than the paper it’s printed on?

“Obviously, it’s a piece of paper. It doesn’t prevent someone from doing something awful,” said Assistant District Attorney Jeremy Cali, who heads up the Special Victims Bureau at the Onondaga County District Attorney’s Office. “It does make otherwise lawful things unlawful. Any other time, going and knocking on someone’s door is lawful. But when there’s an order of protection in place, it enables us to arrest someone on a criminal contempt charge. It also escalates criminal behavior. If someone punches someone and the injury is not severe enough to warrant an assault charge, without an order of protection, it’s a simple harassment charge, which isn’t even a misdemeanor. It’s a violation. With an order of protection, it’s a felony.”

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