Illinois Does It Again – Arrests Two For Internet Harassment
In November 2014, we reported on the case of Steven and Joseph Rusinowski versus Robert DiDomenico. It was a case of cyberharassment gone wild. The case was originally filed in the Circuit Court of Cook County and on July 15, 2011, transferred to the federal district court for the Northern District of Illinois. On October 2, 2014, the jury returned a verdict in favor of Rusinowski and against DiDomenico, awarding Rusinowski $50,000.
One of the most important rulings in that case caught the attention of attorneys. The judge ruled that Illinois has long arm jurisdiction that applies to electronic harassment. That means that those who harass citizens of Illinois over the internet and/or telephone, no matter where the perpetrator lives, will have to defend in Illinois.
In February of this year, we reported on Brandon Wilson of Las Vegas, Nevada, who hacked, harassed, and pulled pranks over the internet. Evidently feeling comfortable behind his computer and using handles, he made a serious mistake — he made a call to Naperville, Illinois 911 and gave a false police report resulting in SWAT showing up to an innocent man’s house. Evidence was gathered from Wilson’s computers showing that it was not the only time that he made a false police report.
Wilson was extradited to Illinois.
Last month, KMOV news reported that a Collinsville, Illinois’ family was electronically harassed. It began with the family’s 12-year old son receiving threatening voice texts and harassment on Facebook. The 12-year old’s brother, 20-year old Devon Dean, tried to step in to stop it, but the person then made him a target. The harassment included racially offensive comments.
Nichole Beacoats, mother of Devon and his younger brother, is not sure how long her son had been bullied and threatened because he was afraid to speak about it. The person making the threats and racially offensive comments said that she was married to a lieutenant on the police force and things that they can have done.
On May 15, 2015, police arrested 40-year-old Ralph Grant and 39-year-old Stacie Hamilton for harassment by electronic media. If convicted, they face 1-3 years in jail. The police said that Ralph Grant is a city paramedic – not a police lieutenant.
Here are the details;