Illinois Does It Again – Arrests Two For Internet Harassment

cyber-harassment-provocationIn 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.

Brandon Wilson

Brandon Wilson

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.

Ralph Grant and Stacie Hamilton

Ralph Grant and Stacie Hamilton, arrested

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;

 

 

Posted on 05/20/2015, in Cases, Cyber-bullying and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 30 Comments.

  1. I am glad the parents went all out and get something done. YAAAY for them. For the bullies. They deserve more time if ya ask me

    Like

    • Hey Shyloh! The sentencing for first time “electronic communications” offenders is what causes some state’s attorneys to not prosecute. As offenses mount up, the crime then becomes a felony with longer sentences. Will County State’s Attorney Glasgow is working to have legislation make “swatting” cyberharassment a felony. I have some ideas of my own regarding any false police report that results in LE going to homes of the innocent.

      Like

  2. PS he’s not a police lieutenant, and I am not an English teacher and I ain’t never won a spelling beeeeee contest ………..

    Like

    • Shyloh. LOL. Just goes to show how harassers lie. The one we call Mr. Stalker had at least 4 Facebook pages at one time where he alleged on one of being employed with the Dept. of Homeland Security, on another of being an IRS accountant, another of working for the FBI, and on another working with the CIA. He would tell target victims on Twitter that there was nothing they could do to stop him because he works for the feds. Yet, he is on disability and hasn’t work for probably a decade or longer.

      Like

  3. 🙂 This is terrific!! Now these folks, and hopefully others, know that hiding behind social media isn’t going to protect them when they behave like cretins.

    Like

    • Good afternoon Mindyme! It is terrific, and hopefully Illinois will start holding hosting companies accountable for not stopping reported harassment because that is also part of the statute.

      Like

  4. scrodriguez

    its good to see that these issues are being taken seriously, California is a long arm state as well, I never knew about that law until recently talking with my attorney as there are others outside of this state that have also participated in harassment.

    Like

    • Hey Santiago! In that particular case, the defendant alleged all sorts of defenses. When they failed, he tried using the jurisdictional argument. Then his attorney withdrew.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Stick it to ’em

    Like

  6. I am SO glad something was done. Do you remember this one from a while back? It broke my heart and I was very angry that nothing “could be” done.

    A 13-year-old girl committed suicide after falling victim to cyber bullying by an adult neighbour who pretended to be a teenage boy.

    Her father Ron found her hanging by a cord inside her wardrobe the day after her online friendship ended.

    Police who later examined Megan’s computer found a message in which “Josh” told her the world would be a better place without her.

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-494809/Girl-13-commits-suicide-cyber-bullied-neighbour-posing-teenage-boy.html#ixzz3agzyauxu
    Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-494809/Girl-13-commits-suicide-cyber-bullied-neighbour-posing-teenage-boy.html

    Like

    • Rachael, I remember that case, and the one in Florida as well where the young girl jumped off a building. It’s hard for some adults to report/explain cyberharassment so it’s even harder for children. That’s because cyberharassers use lies in their harassment and most victims think they have to defend themselves against the lies. That is not necessary.

      Like

  7. yahtzeebutterfly

    Good job by these Illinois police officers!

    May LE across the country follow the lead of the Illinois police and aggressively pursue and arrest dangerous, heartless cyberabusers.

    Like

    • Yahtzee, I wish. I’ve spoken with LE in various jurisdictions and it is common for them to say that they have no training investigating internet harassment. Most victims have to spend hours connecting the dots for them. It can be done, however.

      Like

  8. OT: Urge Attorney Gen. Loretta Lynch to create a nationwide database of police killings.
    KILLEDBYCOPS 2000-2015, 4,285 + Police killings nationwide

    http://act.colorofchange.org/sign/policeforcedatabase/?sp_ref=122693318.176.13937.o.1.2&referring_akid=4370.1638311.nPvCxD&source=c2c

    Like

  9. Fanbloodytastic! ’bout time people learned they can’t get away with shit like this. 1-3 yrs seems a bit lax for the damage they’ve caused, but hey, it’s a start.

    Like

    • Hey Kev! Yes, it’s time harassers learned. The way that law is written, if the defendants commit another violation, it progresses to a felony with more sentencing.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Excellent… that should keep them at bay then, unless they’re stupid… most bullies are, so not much hope there. 😉

        Like

  10. Two sides to a story

    One can only hope the cyberstalkers we know will get their pitty-pats slapped one of these days.

    Like

  11. Hello Xena,its too complicated to log up here? Is only I having troubles? I guess its working perfect now,following your daily posts,missing when you taking rest,I agreed with you there are too many issues (police brutality) to keep up.I check often too on twitter. 🙂 It’s my hope that your harassers receive their “Karma” Hoping that Santiago find a resolution too.

    Like

    • Joseph, I’m sorry that you have problems logging in. I’m so sorry that I had to change options where people will need a Word Press account to submit comments. I realize that it can be an inconvenience and am hoping that it won’t be long until I can change options back making it simple.

      Thanks for your good wishes. Hope that life is treating you well.

      Like

  12. Yep great news! I’m sick of these trashbags roaming around the interwebz thinking they’re untouchable.
    The good news is yours & Santi’s stalkers actually chose the wrong people when they targeted you guys. but still these same POSs are such cowardly idiots they’ve also targeted others w/their hate. just yesterday we found out they’re harassing Tony Robinson’s mom.
    I know you’ve seen it too & have stepped up to call attention to it.
    Obviously she was shocked by the attacks, but surprised by the overwhelming support she’s getting as a result!
    There’s a small army out there willing and able to go after the harassers already. and thankfully some Law enforcement is starting to take action too.

    Like

    • Shannon, Tony Robinson’s mom was shocked, and I understand why. Why would anyone harass the mom of a dead child? Their day is coming.

      The good news is yours & Santi’s stalkers actually chose the wrong people when they targeted you guys.

      They actually chose the right people — the right people to reveal their methods and use all available options so no one else will be victim to their schemes.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Reblogged this on Spirit In Action and commented:
    I am so glad to see the enforcement tide turning in these stalking and harassment cases. Criminals think using different handles and accounts allows them freedom to bully others but everything is tracked and stored. They can’t hide. No longer does a victim’s race, class, gender or sexual orientation provide a free pass to harass.

    Like

    • Thanks for the reblog, dear friend. Law enforcement in various jurisdictions have told me that they are not trained in investigating internet harassment. That means that victims have to take time to educate them, such as the mother in this case. You’re so right — they can’t hide.

      Like

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