Category Archives: Cyberharassment
Cross-posted from Stop Cyber Abuse.
“The response by and large is: Ignore it and turn off your computer,” said Danielle Citron, a University of Maryland law professor and author of “Hate Crimes in Cyberspace.”
Law enforcement must realize that there is a difference between internet trolls and cyberstalkers. When trolls are ignored, they generally go elsewhere and find someone else to hassle. They generally don’t have personal hatred and retribution against those they troll. Trolls generally have no personal knowledge of those they troll.
Cyberstalkers are different. What they do is intended to cause harm in the personal lives of their target victims and some extend that harm to the family of target victims. They have usually been friends or another type of acquaintance. When they are ignored, they find another way to get their target’s attention. If their overall intent is to destroy their victim’s life, they continue and progress in their course of conduct.
As this case demonstrates, when they think that they will not be arrested, they eventually do something so outrageous that it goes beyond cyberstalking.
The convicted perpetrator in this case used actions to conduct his cyberstalking that cannot be explained in summary. In other words, this post is going to be longer than usual. There are two main sources I use for this post. The Department of Justice’s press release gives details of illegal actions leading to arrest. The other source is the Seattle Times that published an interview with the victim, Francesca Rossi.
Juan Thompson, 31, of St. Louis, was employed as a journalist by The Intercept from November 2014 until January 2016. Thompson was fired for fabricating sources and quotes in stories.
In late 2014, Francesca met Juan on an online dating site. She worked as a social worker. They bonded over their commitment for reform. In the Spring of 2015, Juan moved into Francesca’s Brooklyn apartment.
Francesca started getting harassing texts from ex-boyfriends. The wife of an ex-boyfriend said she sued Francesca, accusing her of giving the ex-boyfriend a sexually transmitted disease. The lawsuit turned out to be a hoax. Then Francesca found a nude picture of herself online.
Francesca contacted Carrie Goldberg, a lawyer that specializes in online harassment. Attorney Goldberg quickly figured out that only one person was behind the harassment. Juan had been posing as Francesca’s ex-boyfriends for months. Francesca believed that he was trying to make her feel bad so he could intimidate and control her. (Known fact; Stalkers often create conditions to cause their target victims to feel they need them to resolve or for comfort.) Read the rest of this entry
The Democrat and Chronicle reports that when first interviewed by the FBI, William Rosica claimed innocence. His former girlfriend received emails from Katy Jones. Rosica’s proof of his innocence was showing FBI agents that Katy Jones also sent him a load of emails. Rosica claimed that Katy Jones was sending emails to him to warn him that his former girlfriend was surveilling him.
“Please be careful,” read one of the Katy Jones emails to Rosica. “She is very devious and wants to ruin you. She thinks you’re with someone else.”
As the agents suspected, Rosica was using the name Katy Jones when sending the emails to his former girlfriend and himself.
“Between February 2016 and March 2017, defendant William Rosica subjected the victim to a nonstop sadistic campaign of terror and psychological torture intended to kill, injure, harass, and intimidate her”.
Federal prosecutors alleged that Rosica enlisted other police to surveil his former girlfriend; had other individuals use disposable “burner” phones to pass information onto him about her whereabouts; had someone rummage through the woman’s trash; and surreptitiously secured information about her television viewing that he then used “to show that he knew her every move”. Read the rest of this entry
Cross posted from Stop Cyber Abuse
On January 3, 2018, I predicted that if Kansas has felony murder law, that Tyler Barriss would be charged for the death of Andrew Finch.
I’ve been following and posting about this case. It is another demonstration for how cyber abuse crosses the line of the internet into the personal and private lives of victims, causing harm emotionally, physically and in this case, resulting in death.
Tyler Barriss made a call reporting that he killed his father, was holding his mom and little brother hostage, had poured gasoline throughout the house and was planning to set it on fire. He gave 911 dispatch an address. It was not his address. Barriss was making a swatting call. Andrew Finch, the man at the address, heard noise outside the house and opened his front door. He was shot dead by a Wichita police officer.
Barriss, who is 25-years old, was still on the phone with dispatch after Andrew was shot. Andrew was unarmed and uninvolved in the events leading to Barriss’ false police report. Andrew was 28-years old and the father of two children. Read the rest of this entry
(Cross posted from Flightattendantfailures)
After an approximate 3-month investigation, a 14-year-old Northampton, PA student has been charged with cyber harassment and ethnic intimidation. The 14-year old took a video of a 16-year old student eating lunch and posted it on Snapchat. The 14-year old is White. The 16-year old is Black.
Northampton County District Attorney, John Morganelli, said of the video;
“I reviewed the video today and I find it to be highly offensive and reprehensible. It depicts the 16-year-old minding his own business eating chicken wings while the 14-year-old records him and narrates it by describing the scene as ‘a N-word eating chicken.’
“The video demeans the 16-year-old with numerous uses of the N-word and references to being broke and on welfare. As bad as that is, the 14-year-old published the offensive video on social media including Snapchat that was viewed by numerous students as well as the 16-year-old male, …”
However, the District Attorney did not know of the video until after the 16-year old Black student was arrested and charged with simple assault, harassment and disorderly conduct. That’s because while at a football game attended by both student, the Black student retaliated by opening a can of whoop-ass on the 14-year old.
Neither teen has been publicly identified by authorities.
D.A. Morganelli will allow the 14-year-old to seek an “informal adjustment” in juvenile court. If he completes the probationary requirements, he will not be charged with the crimes.
The 16-year old Black student will also be allowed an “informal adjustment.” Morganelli said the black student had previously been the subject of discrimination from a group of students calling themselves “the rednecks.” He said he had a confederate flag thrown on him when he transferred to the school from out of state. Read the rest of this entry
Cross posted from flightattendantfailures.wordpress.com.
Harassment by electronic means is an issue now before the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission.
The case is pending, but I’m reporting on it because the attorney has admitted that she “…regrettably sent…” the subject communications. The attorney has denied that she did so for the purpose to embarrass, delay or burden the employees of the firm that contracted with her.
The purpose of the attorney disciplinary process is not to punish the attorneys for misconduct, but to safeguard the public, maintain the integrity of the profession and protect the administration of justice from reproach.
The attorney is Cynthia Jean Koroll, who has been licensed to practice law in Illinois since November 2001. The practice of law is her third career after serving in the military, being a registered nurse, and teaching nursing for a university. Read the rest of this entry
Last year, this case caught much attention and I was informed by some victims of cyberharassment that law enforcement used the case decision as an excuse to not pursue charges for online threats. Some internet trolls were happy with the U.S. Supreme Court decision, assuming it addressed free speech. The decision did not. Rather, it addressed the reasonable person standard in the jury’s instructions, finding that the standard should have been reckless disregard.
“A U.S. appeals court has reinstated the conviction of a Freemansburg man who made threatening comments against his estranged wife and others on Facebook but defended them on free speech grounds as rap lyrics.”
“The ruling comes after the U.S. Supreme Court said the jury in the 2011 trial of Anthony Elonis was erroneously instructed and should have weighed Elonis’ intent in making the posts and not just their content.”
“The high court said the fact that people who read the posts found them threatening wasn’t enough to support his conviction, and to get a guilty verdict, prosecutors had to prove that the messages were intended as threats.”
“But on Friday, the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia said no jury could doubt Elonis knew the lyrics —which included talk of killing his estranged wife, shooting up a school and cutting an FBI agent’s throat — would intimidate his targets, despite appearing under an “entertainment only” disclaimer.”
“Based on our review of the record, we conclude beyond a reasonable doubt that Elonis would have been convicted if the jury had been properly instructed. We therefore hold that the error was harmless, and uphold his conviction,” the court’s ruling said.”
This case, although several years old, captured my attention because of the perpetrator’s employment with the Department of Defense. That is an agency unsuccessfully used by some known harassers to give false reports against activists, bloggers and others.
Here is the story …
Lori Stewart of Urbana, Illinois opened a blog titled “This Just In.” She shared gentle stories about gardening, her military family, and vacation photos. In 2006, Lori founded the non-profit organization Toys for Troops. It was soon afterwards when someone using the handle “JoeBob” began sending her vulgar comments.
Lori’s son was in the military, so JoeBob referred to Lori’s son as an “inbred half-retarded son” and said he hoped he took a bayonet in the gut. JoeBob also sent comments that were anti-Semitic and homophobic. Read the rest of this entry
On January 19, 2016, California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris and Placer County District Attorney R. Scott Owens, announced the arraignment of Riley Bangerter, 36, of Roseville. Bangerter has been charged with 11 counts of identity theft in a case of cyber harassment. Bangerter was arrested on December 3, 2015 and was arraigned on January 11, 2016. Bangerter has pled not guilty.
In 2011, Attorney General Harris created the eCrime Unit within the California Department of Justice to identify and prosecute for crimes including identity theft, cybercrimes and other crimes involving the use of technology.
An investigation by Attorney General Harris’ eCrime Unit found that Bangerter superimposed images of his ex-wife onto pornographic images and posted them online, accompanied by her personal identifying information.
When announcing charges against Bangerter, AG Harris stated,
“Bangerter’s heinous actions sought to humiliate, belittle and destroy the personal and professional life of his victim. This prosecution sends a clear message to all who dare to perpetrate the crimes of cyber harassment and cyber exploitation, that these cowardly acts will not be tolerated in California. I thank the Placer County District Attorney’s office for their partnership and commitment to holding Bangerter accountable for these deplorable acts.”
If you or someone you know is a resident of the State of California as of October 27, 2015, and had a Twitter account on or before November 2009, you might want to know the following.
Twitter has been sued, and agreed to settle a class action lawsuit alleging that it violated user’s privacy rights by disclosing the full names provided by users without warning. The lawsuit also alleges that Twitter shared users’ public tweets and public profile information with third parties without providing adequate disclosure, and by failing to adequately inform its users that their tweets would be public by default.
The class action lawsuit was filed by a former Twitter user who opened an account in September 2009. The plaintiff, known as Jane Doe, alleges breach of contract, invasion of privacy, wrongful publication of private facts, intentional misrepresentation, negligent misrepresentation, negligence, misappropriate, and violation of the Consumer Legal Remedies Act, the Online Privacy Protection Act, and the Unfair Competition Law. The lawsuit is captioned Jane Doe v. Twitter Inc., et al., Case No. CGC-10-503630, and is filed in the Superior Court of the State of California, County of San Francisco. Read the rest of this entry
In the video below, attorney David Allen explains that the courts examine the context of communications to determine whether emoticons have meaning. This is very interesting seeing that more and more people are turning to the courts to resolve harassment that is committed using electronic communications.
This morning, Victor Blackwell of CNN, (@VictorCNN), tweeted that the ACLU has submitted a brief in the Kendrick Johnson case. They have taken a friend of the court position pertaining to the disclosure of the identity of 23 Twitter handles and cites First Amendment and privacy.
It’s actually the civil case filed by Kendrick’s parents for wrongful death. The Bell family responded with a counter-suit, alleging defamation. In their counter-claim, they allege that Kendrick’s mom used “authorized agents” to defame them on social media.
On November 2, 2015, I wrote in a post that people had been notified by Twitter that their account information had been subpoenaed in the Johnson v. Bell case. The Department of Justice filed a motion to intervene and a motion to stay discovery for 180 days pending completion of their investigation. The DOJ has extended their investigation into witness tampering and obstruction. The court denied the DOJ’s motions.
Also reported in that post is that a person who is a known internet harasser and extortionist tweeted to several individuals that their Twitter account information had been subpoenaed, and he did so days before Twitter notified those individuals. It’s the same person that one of our (as of Nov. 23, 2015, form writer) Santiago, has a restraining order against and is currently in court in a contempt proceeding, alleging violation of that restraining order. Read the rest of this entry
A Texas couple, Mark Lesher, 63, and his wife, Rhonda, 50, were accused by a woman of sexual assault. Mark Lesher is a prominent attorney, and Rhonda was running a successful day spa. The accusation included a man who works on the Lesher’s ranch. Before they stood trial in January 2009, there was a steady stream of attacks on the Web forum Topix.com. The comments accused the couple of murder, encouraging pedophilia, drug abuse and other crimes that materially attack their characters.
In January 2009, the couple and their ranch hand were found not guilty on all charges.
Three years ago, the couple filed a 365-page lawsuit naming 178 pseudonyms used to post what they considered the most defamatory messages. They posted the lawsuit on Topix and served the company a subpoena to obtain the IP addresses. A Texas judge ordered Topix to turn over the identifying information about the anonymous posters. The Internet Protocol (IP) addresses led to a couple that owned a business, and accused the Lesher’s of sexual assault in 2008.
In July 2009, the Leshers filed an amended petition in the District Court of Tarrant County, Texas naming Shannon Coyel, the couple’s accuser; her husband Gerald Covel and his brother, James Coyel. Also named as a defendant was Apache Truck & Van Parts of Kennedale, Texas and two of its employers, Charlie and Pat Doescher.
On Friday, a jury awarded the Leshers a judgment of $13.78 million.
Mark and Rhonda Lesher stand on the steps of Collin County Courthouse in McKinney, Texas, shortly after their acquittal of sexual assault charges Jan. 16, 2009. On Friday, the couple were awarded
The Gazette reported a malicious prosecution suit is pending that names as defendants the Coyels and Red River County District Attorney Val Varley, who unsuccessfully prosecuted the sexual assault case against the Leshers. That suit accuses them of conspiring to convict the Leshers of a crime they did not commit. The newspaper reports that a jury trial is scheduled for August.
Ryan Calo, who teaches privacy law at Stanford Law School and is joining the faculty at the University of Washington School of Law, said
“Defamation is one area of law in which a jury or court have to figure out how much damage has been done. It’s not a car accident where you can calculate medical bills and how much work was lost after an injury. There’s something more ephemeral in a reputation.”
There is a difference between free speech, which states an opinion, and accusations stated as fact that have no basis in fact and causes harm to the personal lives of others.
There’s more on this story and other internet defamation stories on ABC News.
Lessons learned, old lessons remembered……
(Alert. Some might find the content in the comments of others presented in this article to be offensive.)
Five words I would hear on a regular basis day in and day out when training as an amateur boxer; “Protect yourself at all times.” You hear those words time and time again in the gym, even while hitting heavy bags or doing mitt work. It’s important even during sparring although those sessions are controlled and not as intense as an actual fight.
The idea is to instill that way of thinking into your head so you keep your hands up, keep your head moving and your feet moving, thus reducing the chance of getting caught with a shot you don’t see only to deposit you on the canvas.
It’s the last set of words you hear after having passed the ammunition to your opponent (Touching Gloves) and just before the opening bell sounds.
What do I mean in all of this? Lets look back when the internet started to surface and started to become the trend that it is today.
If you were a parent back then or even a single lady living alone, the internet was a place where you knew trouble lurked. You didn’t want your kids on the internet because you have prowlers trying to lure your kids to meet them. You have scam artists setting up websites in attempt to look legit but are intended to get your personal info and steal your identity or clean out your bank account. These are things we are all aware of and we all keep our guard up in regards to these types of realities. But I am going to take it even one step further. How many of you have surfed Youtube only to see some crazy conspiracy theories in the videos? I am pretty sure everybody here has stumbled across them on a couple of occasions.
The disturbing part is the creators of the videos; the creators of those theories, believe in them so much that if you even utter a word disagreeing they tend to claim your hired by the Government sent out to discredit truth seekers. Or am I the only one who happens to find Youtube users like that? Don’t take my word for it. Look up some of the Planet X theorist and try to debate reality with their warped sense of thinking and see what happens.
Anyhow, I have seen some crazy stuff surfing. There are videos where anti-Obama nutters claim that the Aurora shooting, Sandy Hook and even the Trayvon Martin shooting never took place. They claim that these were all paid actors and one huge effort to take away our 2nd amendment rights. Read the rest of this entry
iPredator Inc. is a New York State based Information Age Forensics Company founded to provide educational and advisory products & services to online users, consumers and organizations on cyber bullying, cyber harassment, cyber-stalking, cybercrime, internet defamation, cyber terrorism, online sexual predation and cyber deception. Created by a NYS licensed psychologist and certified forensic consultant, Michael Nuccitelli Psy.D., C.F.C., their goal is to reduce victimization, theft and disparagement from online assailants.
The organization has conducted studies and provides definitions and descriptions for those who use information and communications technology (ICT) to harm others.
An ICT Predator is a person or group that directly or indirectly, engages in exploitation, victimization, coercion, stalking, theft or disparagement of others using Information and Communications Technology (ICT). iPredators are driven by deviant fantasies, desires for power and control, retribution, religious fanaticism, political reprisal, psychiatric illness, perceptual distortions, peer acceptance or personal gain.
Michael Nuccitelli of iPredator Inc, believes that cyber-harassers are usually motivated by a need for peer acceptance and/or power and control. The most malevolent feels minimal remorse for the harm they are inflicting upon the target. Read the rest of this entry
I immediately received phone calls before making to my attorney’s office, which was two blocks from the courthouse. It appears rather than humbling himself and accepting defeat and moving on he chose to start up right again, posting more garbage. I honestly was not surprised to hear the news but the focus at that point was getting the tire fixed so I could make the trip home. A screw got stuck in my tire on the way to my attorney’s office.
On the way home, random thoughts started to emerge knowing that he was firing away talking trash telling more lies. The reality of it all hit me. This man really is mentally ill. He is obsessed with the likes of George Zimmerman, Michael Dunn and Theodore Wafer. That’s a scary concept when you think about it.
There is no gun control in the United States for people with mental illness. They are allowed to carry. Can you imagine a person who creates their own reality and lives in a world of lies owning a fire arm? He is obsessed at the idea of killing black people in the name of self-defense. He lives in a fantasy world. Look at what we know about him.
He claims he has a wife and step-daughter, but he does not. He used the legal system as a means to cause harm to me and this alleged wife he loves so much. This is a man who lied on sworn declarations and lied during court and he knows he lied. He is dangerous without owning a firearm so imagine if he obtained one?
Come to think of it, we know he is on SSI disability for his mental illness which is why he spends so much time on the internet harassing people over social media. I understand that those assisting him also receive SSI so it wouldn’t be a surprise if there is mental illness across the board as they all share the same ideology, and his friends honestly believe the garbage he tells them even when they know he is lying. Read the rest of this entry
Most of you who read this will know the experiences I am about to share with you as some of you reading have also been victimized by this individual. I am not sure exactly when the subject person started harassing others, but my point of reference starts with the George Zimmerman Trial.
I’m referring to the individual as my accuser. It never occurred to me that by exercising my right to freedom of speech, that a series of events would lead to being threatened, stalked, harassed, defamed, and eventually led to court. But, this is what happened and it happened as a result of my advocacy for Trayvon Martin.
During the Zimmerman trial, I became familiar with an individual over social media. I had blocked several of his twitter and Facebook accounts due to the racist comments, racist memes and threats of violence. As time went on and the verdict was announced, and in protesting the verdict, the subject harasser stepped up the memes. They were more disturbing as if this was his method of a victory parade essentially rubbing salt in the wounds.
But that was expected. I mean when you look at the blatant racism in his memes, in his tweets and on his Facebook pages, who would not expect anything different. His postings make it that he a person who believes in white supremacy ideology. Read the rest of this entry
Those on Twitter may have noticed that there was an effort last week by cyber- extortionist, David Piercy, to have Word Press take down Blackbutterfly7. They have shown concern (thank you) and this is to inform everyone what took place.
David Piercy filed for a restraining order against another person, and threatened to add me to it unless I became familiar with the Word Press delete feature. Those here who read comments and those on Twitter know that I’ve never engaged that person. Although a long time ago I blacklisted his IP address using the Word Press option, he continues sending vile and racially derogatory comments to this blog.
Several weeks ago, he hacked/trespassed by submitting comments here through the California State University at Fresno’s network. Those comments did not go into moderation but posted directly to the public board. I deleted them, and blacklisted the IP address. Piercy then went on Twitter claiming that I deleted them because he proved me wrong about Lisa Bloom’s book. No – I deleted them because he trespassed. It’s not my position to ask or wonder why other bloggers allow him to come back and forth after banning him. As for me, once you come to my house throwing filth and calling me demeaning names, you’re not allowed back, PERIOD.