You are receiving this letter because David hasn’t gone away. I do believe I told you what our next steps would be if he didn’t, and we have already begun to follow through with them. Enclosed is a letter explaining how Julie has broken the law. I wasn’t going to send you a copy, but it occurred to me that she started doing this when she was a minor, and at that time you guys were responsible for her actions.
As her parents I can see how you wouldn’t want to believe a story as terrible as this, and take her side and support her. All I can say is this isn’t a practical joke. This is real. Julie has been hurting people! I know she suggested this David guy “hijacked” her phone number, and I can tell you right now that is impossible. There is a computer chip in her phone which is specific to her account. So unless David has that chip, which he doesn’t because Julie has it, then it’s impossible. All you have to do is get copies of her phone records and start calling the numbers on it and asking the people on the other line if they know a David Matthew Zane. I would suggest starting with the out of state numbers first. Once you start finding people that know him you should check out the frequency and amount of calls to those people. I’m going to estimate David called me around a thousand times, and we exchanged well over ten thousand text messages. There is no way Julie wouldn’t have noticed that kind of activity on her phone bill. Also, she may be claiming she met David online like the rest of us and he did similar things to her. To this fact I would ask, Why then did she tell one girl they hang out all the time and Julie actually gave her a CD she said David had made and given her the night before when she was at his house? Has she told you who I am? ….Who the girl in California is writing these letters? Probably not, because if she did she would have to tell you she is David, because there is no other way she would know me. Again, I ask for your serious consideration of this situation. You can still communicate with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also sent with this letter was:
It is a crime, under both federal and the law of all 50 states, to act as you have over the past (?) years. Most people do not know or understand that “stalking” is not limited to specific situations like following a victim, telephone calls or mailings. Given the importance and widespread use of the internet, 47 states have enacted laws to prevent cyber crimes and to protect victim’s of cyber stalking (including harassment by repeated contact or posting messages about the victim). Even if a state does not have a specific law pertaining to cyber stalking or harassment, all general stalking and aggravated stalking statutes apply. For example, under Michigan state law, pursuant to:
1. MCL § 750.411h (applies to an offender from any state where the victim is in or resident of Michigan when injury occurs): A person is guilty of stalking if he/she:
a. Engages in a course of conduct (2 or more separate acts) with a purpose to
b. Place the victim (one who is injured by the course of conduct)
c. In a condition of emotional distress
d. By sending electronic communications to that individual.
2. MCL § 750.411s (applies to an offender from any state where the victim is in or is a resident of Michigan): A person is prohibited from posting a message through any medium of communication if the following apply:
a. The post would cause 2 or more separate acts of conduct with a victim of physical or cyber stalking/harassment
b. The posting is intended to cause the victim to feel harassed
c. Conduct arising from the posting would cause a reasonable person to suffer emotional distress and harassed
d. Conduct arising from the posting causes the victim to suffer emotional distress and harassed.
3. State level penalties (a felony in all 50 states)
a. Stalking: 1 year in jail, $5000 fine, 5 years reporting probation with conditions imposed at judge’s discretion.
b. Posting a prohibited message: 2 years in prison and a $5000 fine.
Furthermore, any sort of crime that travels across state lines (victim in one state, offender in another) is capable of prosecution in federal court. Therefore, Congress enacted multiple provisions of the United States Code (see 47 U.S.C. § 223: it is a federal crime to utilize a telecommunications device, (including the internet), interstate, whether or not conversation or communication ensues, without disclosing true identity and with the intent to annoy, abuse, threaten, or harass any person who receives the communication.
Similarly, criminal monetary penalties and terms of confinement are not the only recourse for victim’s of cyber stalking. The judicial system also offers victim’s multiple avenues in the way of civil lawsuits against offenders. In the civil system, the standard of proof is lower and the courts are more deferential to the victim. This is because our civil justice system is founded on the premise of fundamental fairness and civil court gives victim’s the ability to pursue monetary damages for the injuries they have sustained from a personal injury inflicted on them by another. Monetary damages available to a plaintiff in a civil suit include: compensatory damages (meant to compensate the victim and place her back in the position she was in before the injury) by way of any medical (physical or psychological) treatment expenses and damages for emotional distress arising from the injury inflicted on the plaintiff by the defendant. Furthermore, a jury in a civil suit is also at leave to impose punitive damages which are meant to punish the defendant. The amount of punitive damages can be based on multiple factors and assessed without regard to the actual damages suffered by the plaintiff…therefore the awards are very high.
The facts in this situation and your harassing behavior have reached such magnitude that it is time the proper authorities be contacted. The state police in all 50 states run a cyber safety initiative, giving victims the appropriate avenues to report cyber crimes against them. The federal government also has a cyber crimes initiative that is specially suited to handle internet crimes that cross state lines. The behavior and contact needs to cease. The authorities will be contacted immediately and civil remedies will be pursued.