"Law & Order: Criminal Intent" star Kathryn Erbe testified Wednesday that she got a "very bad feeling" from the moment she met a fan accused of stalking her and later panicked when he posted a crude photo of her teenage daughter on the Internet.
The photo — evidence at the federal trial of Charles Nagel in Brooklyn — shows the 14-year-old with a cockroach drawn on her face and a dialogue bubble reading, "I'm ugly."
In sometimes tearful testimony, Erbe recalled thinking "that I'm not going to let this go on anymore — that this is my daughter who is totally innocent and relatively defenseless."
Erbe filed a complaint that resulted in interstate stalking charges against the 36-year-old Philadelphia man.
Prosecutors allege a campaign of harassment that began in 2008 when Nagel showed up at a Manhattan filming location with his wife and two daughters and tried to hug Erbe. She told the jury that after she fended him off, he kept staring at her as she completed her scene.
"I got a very bad feeling from him," she said of the initial encounter.
Nagel, an aspiring songwriter who uses the name "Chaz Rose," later complained on a social network "that the victim had not responded to a song and letter he had written her, that this was causing him to become angry and that he knew where the program was filming," a criminal complaint says.
In early 2009, Nagel again went to a filming location and approached Erbe, the complaint says. When she recognized him, she had a security guard tell him to leave.
Erbe testified that Nagel persisted, writing her romantic letters — "I love you so much it hurts" — that left Erbe even more shaken.
"I just felt he was obsessed," she said in a halting voice. "It upset me and made me very scared."
In opening statements Tuesday, defense attorney Robert Datner had called his client "an interesting character" who meant no harm. Nagel merely "went to a public place seeking autographs and photographs," the lawyer said.
Erbe, 44, has starred for nine seasons as Detective Alexandra Eames on the crime series, which now airs on the cable USA Network.