Man arrested for cyberstalking

August 6, 2013

By Peter Clark

Issaquah police arrested a 26-year-old man July 31, for cyberstalking his ex-girlfriend.

The woman, who lives in Issaquah, first contacted police when she found several suggestive photos of herself posted online without her permission.

In one case, the suspect pretended to be his ex-girlfriend online by posting the photos with a fake Craigslist ad for a massage escort.

Commander Stan Conrad said the victim had been subject to the abuse for some time and police had to navigate through many legal hurdles in order to produce enough evidence to charge the suspect.

“This was several months of investigation,” Conrad said. “It does take quite a bit of search warrant work from different Internet service providers. A lot of work went into this from the detectives.”

Police obtained supporting evidence of the crimes after serving search warrants to various Internet providers. Officers then arrested the suspect, who lives outside of Issaquah, for two counts of domestic violence cyber stalking, a gross misdemeanor.

Should he be convicted, the suspect could face up to a year in jail for each charge and Conrad said additional charges could be forthcoming.

The police department has seen an increase in cyberstalking recently.

“It’s becoming more and more prevalent,” Conrad said. “Fortunately, we are getting better and better at investigations.”

Above all, he said the department stressed the seriousness of being careful about placing personal information on the Internet, especially since online devices are becoming more widespread.

“Once it’s out there, it’s out there,” Conrad said about personal information. “People need to realize this.”

In an official release, the city offered the following tips for online safety:

  • Remember that any photo of you can be permanent and easily shared with the world online.
  •  Anyone can use photos of you to steal your identity.
  •  Be aware of what photos you or others post of you online.
  •  Review your security settings on social media sites.

 

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