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Fourteen Year Old Charged With Cyber-harassment and Ethnic Intimidation

(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, …”

john-morganelli

Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli at a news conference on Jan. 3, 2017. (Rudy Miller)

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

Appeals Court Reinstates Anthony Elonis’ Conviction For Threats On Facebook

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.

The Morning Call reports:

“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.”

Read the rest of this entry

Cyberharasser Sentenced to Two Years Probation

power-point-cybercrime-13-638This 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

California Man Charged With Identity Theft In Cyber-Harassment

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California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris

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.”

Read the rest of this entry

The Week In Review – Open Discussion

What a busy week this has been.

The Supreme Court of the United States has made marriage equality the law of the land.  Within hours of the decision, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton issued a statement directly challenging the decision for instigating a battle over “religious liberty.”

Whoopie Goldberg on gay marriageI wonder how he feels about heterosexual couples who co-habitate together outside of marriage, or has he erased the word “fornication” from his Bible? Marriage equality is not about sex. It’s about same-gender spouses having the same rights as heterosexual couples as beneficiaries and heirs. As Judge Judy often says on her program to heterosexual couples who live together outside of marriage, there is no law for the courts to divide property and order one party to pay bills “because you decided to play house without being married.” Read the rest of this entry

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. Read the rest of this entry

Cyberabusers

Paula-extrememeanThe other week, I was watching the Steve Harvey show and Paula Todd was a guest on his program. Paula Todd is a Canadian journalist, investigative author, broadcaster, and lawyer. She is a professor of broadcast journalism and digital media at Seneca College, and is a frequent speaker on cyberabuse, Internet culture, writing, reporting, literacy and freedom of the press. In 2014, she published the book, Extreme Mean: Trolls, Bullies and Predators Online.

An introduction of her book starts with;

“Cyberbullying, tormenting and revenge porn. Workplace digital skullduggery, online defamation and reputation annihilation. Cyberstalking, Anon hate and adults ridiculing other’s children. Digital sexual extortion, blackmail and predators on the prowl. Which kids, youth and adults are behind this negative online behaviour and what can be done to stop the abuse?”

For those who have Word Press blogs, you know that we can see referrals to our blog from other sites and emails. I don’t always check that section on the Admin side, but when I saw a significant increase in the number of views one day, I did check.

steve-harveySteve Harvey’s website linked to an article on Blackbutterfly7. Words cannot express how honored I was. Of all the sites on the internet that reported on the particular subject matter, Blackbutterfly7 was chosen. I didn’t publicly share that information. Why? Because for years, cyberextortionists stalk the internet looking for opportunity to disparage this blog and defame me. I did not want them trying to verbally vandalize Steve Harvey’s website and taking up the time of his staff to moderate their defamatory vileness. Read the rest of this entry

19-Year Old Arrested For Cyberharassment

Brandon Wilson

Brandon Wilson

Online, he uses the handle “Famed God.” Brandon Wilson now has fame, but not in the manner he wanted.   Thursday, Wilson was arrested in Las Vegas, Nevada. He is now behind bars in Nevada waiting extradition to Illinois. In July, Wilson allegedly reported a murder to Naperville’s emergency 911 line. The SWAT team responded and found that the call was a false report.  Illinois prosecutors said there is evidence on Wilson’s computers that the July 10, 2014 “swatting” hoax was not the only time that Wilson made false police reports.

Swatting” is the new form of internet harassment which involves falsely reporting a dangerous situation to send the police to another person’s home. The false report can lead to deployment of a SWAT team.

Wilson is also said to have hacked the gaming consoles of two others and threatened to put someone “in debt for life” by accessing banking information. Illinois prosecutors said charges Wilson faces include two counts of computer tampering, one count of intimidation, computer fraud, identity theft and disorderly conduct. If convicted, Wilson faces up to 5 years in prison.

Read the rest of this entry

Cyberharassment – Faces of Racism – Pt 4

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

The Psychology Behind Cyber-Harassers

9f931c04c54d20bb882e3d44a93b8703iPredator 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

Cyberharasser’s Court Action Backfires On Him

cyberstalkingMost 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

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