PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A 26-year-old man has been sentenced to just over five years in prison in federal court in Philadelphia in a frightening case of cyberstalking.
Todd Hart just couldn’t let go when his girlfriend announced she was moving to California for an educational opportunity. Prosecutor Michael Levy says Hart threatened suicide, but when that didn’t work, the threats and harassment began. He targeted the woman, her family and friends with threatening calls and emails, changed the password of some online accounts and moved money from her banking accounts.
“I’m still suffering with some emotional impacts from it,” the woman testified in court. “I am a little paranoid. I will never use the internet as a dating service again. I feel angry. I feel betrayed. I feel spoofed. I feel stupid.”
Hart, who has prior convictions for stalking, told the court he was depressed and angry.
Judge John Padova told Hart the crimes were egregious and inexcusable, “You did what you wanted to do. You did what you chose to do in all respects. You not only victimized the young lady who testified in my courtroom a little while ago, but you victimized her friends, her family. You not only stalked her, you stalked her sister as well. None of that conduct on your part is justified in any way, shape or form.”
Reported by Tony Hanson, KYW Newsradio 1060