In November, a California man earned a criminal conviction for defiant trespass and stalking after sending unsolicited gifts to Robertson. Brandon Song, 40, of Redwood, was sentenced to 25 days to 12 months in jail and paroled for time served.
Last year, the network obtained an injunction against Philip Martin Young, an Arizona man who took up correspondence with two other QVC hosts after he completed a probationary sentence for harassing Robertson.
QVC also secured a civil injunction against Ferreira in April for the same course of conduct that led to the criminal charges. Chester County Court Judge Robert J. Shenkin signed an order prohibiting Ferreira from having any contact with Robertson. Ferreira did not attend the proceeding because he had voluntarily committed himself to the psychiatric unit of a Connecticut hospital.
Forensic psychologist Bruce Mapes said the mental-health system fails most celebrity stalkers because they cannot be involuntarily committed and need an extended treatment period.
Even when they receive some therapy, the "target of their interest is always there" on TV to fuel their fantasies, Mapes said.
Such individuals are typically sad, lonely, isolated people whose feelings of alienation dissipate when they watch the object of their affection on TV.
"Suddenly they feel that they're not alone," said Mapes. "Then they begin to fantasize that if this person could only meet them, a wonderful love would develop."
Police said Ferreira made several scary overtures to Robertson, following her to her home in Chester County and to a movie theater where he said he was so close "he could smell the popcorn she was eating."
He also traveled to Tennessee, where he parked in the driveway of her parents' residence, and to South Carolina, where Robertson's sister lives, the complaint said.
On April 12, 2004, officials got a call from the owner of Little Lacy Lady in Chattanooga, who reported that a man named Pete came into the store asking questions about the Robertson family and describing a relationship with Lisa Robertson, who "talks to him through the television."
Mapes said that when reality interferes and obsessive fans get jilted, they have the potential to become dangerous. He said he believes QVC is right to take a hardball approach.
"If QVC does anything nice, that reinforces the fantasy," he said. "They can't play therapist; stalkers are very unpredictable."
QVC, which reaches 86 million U.S. households and boasts $5 billion in sales, has its headquarters in West Chester.
The company was "pleased with the outcome," said Brandon Hamm, a QVC spokesman.
Contact staff writer Kathleen Brady Shea at 610-701-7625 or firstname.lastname@example.org.