The U.S. Department of Justice has announced that a Seattle, Washington man has pleaded guilty to conducting cyberstalking and threat campaigns against multiple individuals.
“.. [The] guilty plea demonstrates that conduct occurring online can cause victims serious harm and anguish offline,” said Assistant Attorney General Benczkowski. “While this prosecution cannot undo the damage this defendant inflicted, it sends a clear message that the Criminal Division and our law enforcement partners are firmly committed to protecting the public and aggressively pursuing malicious actors who hide behind the anonymity of the Internet.”
“This defendant thought he could use a computer keyboard to stalk and harass others with remarkable cruelty — all while hiding in the shadows. He could not have been more wrong,” said U.S. Attorney Hayes. “Conduct that we all know is wrong in the real world, is just as wrong in cyberspace and will be punished accordingly.”
The defendant – a former Information Technology professional – was charged in a felony information with two counts of cyberstalking. According to admissions made in connection with his plea, the defendant engaged in an extensive and rapidly escalating cyberstalking campaign that targeted two individuals he knew. The online campaign involved, inter alia, death threats, body shaming and hate speech.
According to the DOJ, staring in early 2017, the defendant orchestrated numerous spam phone calls to one victim, thereafter escalating to bogus dating profiles containing photographs and contact information of the victim. The defendant also admitted that he began registering a second victim in weight loss and suicide prevention programs.
The Justice Department encourages individuals who may be the victims to contact their local law enforcement agencies to report this type of conduct.
Informational purposes only. Not legal advice. Always seek the advice of an attorney. Previous case results do not guarantee similar future result. Hinch Newman LLP | 40 Wall St., 35th Floor, New York, NY 10005 | (212) 756-8777.