Man faces federal cyberstalking charge

By Gillian Graham

Staff Writer

 

A Biddeford man was indicted last week on federal charges of cyberstalking and identity theft for allegedly posting sexually explicit Internet messages about an ex-girlfriend.

Shawn Sayer, 41, was indicted July 13 by a federal grand jury in Portland for behavior that caused substantial emotional distress to the victim, according to United States Attorney Thomas E. Delahanty II.

Sayer entered a not guilty plea Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Portland.

Sayer allegedly committed cyberstalking using e-mail and Internet websites that caused his ex-girlfriend to fear for her safety, Delahanty said. The case was investigated by Maine State Police Computer Crimes Unit with assistance from U.S. Secret Service. 

According to a court affidavit filed by Special Agent Matthew Fasulo of the Secret Service, Sayer’s ex-girlfriend – identified in court documents as M.B. of South Portland – reported to police she was forced to move away from Maine because of his harassment. M.B. told investigators she dated Sayer for nearly four years before the relationship ended in January 2006.

M.B. told police  Sayer stalked and harassed her from the time their relationship ended, according to court records.

Sayer was convicted in June 2006 in York County Superior Court of stalking M.B. She was granted a protection from abuse order against Sayer, which he was convicted of violating in February 2008. The order is in effect until April 4, 2013.

According to Fasulo, M.B. told investigators a male stranger showed up at her South Portland home in October 2008 and claimed he met her on the Internet and arranged to meet for a sexual encounter. Several more men went to her house in the following days looking for sexual encounters and one incident resulted in an altercation between M.B. and a man, according to court records.

That same month, M.B. discovered an advertisement in the “casual encounters” section of the website Craigslist with a photo of herself, directions to her house and a list of sexual things she would do when interested individuals arrived, according to the affidavit.

Fasulo said in the affidavit the Craigslist listing contained photos only Sayer could access. M.B. told police she was terrified by the events and feared she would be raped, according to the affidavit.

 

As a result of the harassment, M.B. in May 2009 legally changed her name and moved to Louisiana for seven months. A male stranger showed up at her home in Louisiana and called her by her new name on Aug. 25, 2009, according to Fasulo. The man said he had met her on the Internet and had come to her house for a sexual encounter, according to the affidavit.

After reading a written complaint M.B. sent to the Maine Attorney General’s Office, Detective Laurie Northrup of the computer crimes unit spoke with M.B. about videos she found of herself posted on adult websites. The consensually recorded videos showed sexual acts between M.B. and Sayer, according to the affidavit.

Northrup through her investigation determined Sayer created social networking accounts using M.B.’s name and birth date, according to the affidavit. M.B. returned to Maine in November 2009 and told police she continued to find social networking profiles associated with her name. She also reported men continued to show up at her house looking for sexual encounters, according to the affidavit.

 

Police executed a search warrant at Sayer’s house on July 1, 2010, and seized a number of items, including two computers. A forensic examination of the computers revealed a number of Internet profiles police believe Sayer used to communicate with others, according to the affidavit.

The list included 21 profiles that included either a portion of M.B.’s name or her image, according to police. The computer also contained nude and partially nude photos of M.B., according to the affidavit.

Two pornographic videos that involved M.B. found on Sayer’s computer had been altered to include a slide that listed M.B.’s Louisiana address, according to the affidavit. Investigators found the same videos posted on an adult pornography website.

Fasulo in his affidavit said evidence shows probable cause to believe Sayer used the Internet to stalk M.B. from August to November 2009. The case is in federal court because Sayer allegedly used interstate commerce – the Internet – to commit the crimes.

If convicted, Sayer faces a maximum of 10 years in federal prison on the cyberstalking charge and five years in federal prison for identity theft. He also faces a maximum fine of $250,000 on each charge.

Sayer currently is serving 22 months in jail as part of a plea agreement reached with prosecutors for charges related to violating bail and protection orders. He is scheduled to be released in September.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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