Feeds

US man on Net stalking rap

Harassed ex, now faces jail

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

A South Carolina man has become the first person to be charged under US laws prohibiting Internet stalking.

Robert James Murphy, 38, of Columbia, South Carolina, denied 26 counts of using his computer to "to annoy, abuse, threaten and harass" Joelle Ligon, a 35 year-old Seattle woman, at a US District Court hearing last week. Conviction of each of the charges is punishable by up to two years in prison. Murphy was released on bail of $50,000 pending further hearings.

His prosecution is the first to rely on a 1997 amendment to federal telecommunications law outlawing cyber-harassment, AP reports. The law criminalises sending obscene email in the same way earlier regulations punished individuals who made threatening or abusive phone calls.

Ligon, then resident in Salt Lake City, Utah, dated Murphy between the ages of 15 and 22. The seven-year relationship broke up 13 years ago.

Prosecutors charge that Murphy sent "obscene and sexually explicit messages and pictures" to Ligon and her co-workers from 1998 onwards. These messages continued even when Ligon moved job or state. Ligon ignored these email for four years before approaching police, who allegedly tracked these messages back to Murphy.

Last week Ligon came face to face with Murphy for the first time since 1991. "He didn't give me any eye contact," Ligon said after the hearing. "He has been a faceless entity to me. I wanted to see him, and I wanted him to know that I was looking at him."

Murphy's trial is due to begin on 6 July. ®

Related stories

Ex-magistrate faces jail over obscene email blizzard
Internet stalker jailed
State senator drafts Google opt-out Bill
Google touts stalking service
RIAA 'encouraging stalkers, molesters' telco

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
It may be ILLEGAL to run Heartbleed health checks – IT lawyer
Do the right thing, earn up to 10 years in clink
France bans managers from contacting workers outside business hours
«Email? Mais non ... il est plus tard que six heures du soir!»
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.