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Law Offices of Gilbert Schaffnit Gainesville Criminal Defense Lawyer

Florida Landlord Engages in Cyberstalking Via Craigslist

Craigslist is a great site for buying and selling household items, as well as finding housing and jobs. However, some people use it for unsavory purposes, such as for sex. One Florida man used it to cyberstalk a former tenant who rebuffed his sexual advances toward her.

The 51-year-old Lake Worth man was recently sentenced to three years in federal prison after the Craigslist campaign that he waged against the woman, who was 24 years old at the time (she is now 30). The man went as far as to post Craigslist ads impersonating the women. As a result, the woman was subject to strangers coming to her home at all times of the day. They would even arrive at her place of work. Her email inbox was full of pornographic images from men responded to the Craigslist ads her landlord would post.

This disturbing situation, which occurred between November 2012 and June 2013. troubled the woman so severely that she lost her job and moved away from South Florida. She even went as far as to attempt to take her own life.

After moving out of the state, though, the cyberstalking continued. The woman moved in with her mother in Alabama and still received visits from strange men looking for sex. The woman would ask the former landlord for help and he would try to help her out to make himself look like a hero.

The man has initially tried to blame the stalking on his ex-wife, but later admitted that he committed the acts while going through a bitter divorce with his first wife. Police officers were able to prove that the man posted dozens of Craigslist ads using the woman’s name and address. He was also able to make it so the emails looked like they came from the woman. He used special software to hide his identity, but after a complicated investigation, authorities had enough evidence to prosecute the man.

The woman can now move on with her life. Her former landlord has been in jail since January and he has been convicted of cyberstalking. He will spend three years in prison. During that time, he must attend anger management classes, domestic violence classes and mental health treatment. The victim has requested that the man pay her $100,000 in restitution. A ruling will be made on that request later this year.

Contact a Legal Professional for Help

Many of us have gone to great lengths to contact a person via the internet, but when causes a person to have anxiety and becomes so severe that it ruins a person’s life, it is considered a crime. In some cases, cyberstalking can be charged as a felony, punishable by a prison sentence.

If you are facing cyberstalking charges, it’s important that you seek legal help. The Gainesville criminal defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Gilbert A. Schaffnit can assess your case and help you reduce your charges. To schedule a consultation, contact our office at (352) 505-1799.


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