Sunday, June 06, 2010

Woman Terrified by Online Cyberstalker

Tiffany Eisler kicked her boyfriend out of her life last month, or so she thought.

A few weeks ago, a friend told her about a fake Facebook page in her name.

"Someone was pretending to be me, with naked pictures, with my phone number up," she said.

Eisler called 17 News to see if police can do anything to help.

She told reporter Anna Velasquez she met Kyle Walker online. Walker was living in Marin County, but within two months, he moved in with her in Bakersfield in late 2009.

In mid-April, a fight over the laundry turned violent.

"He just started kicking all the laundry everywhere," she said. "And, in the process I got kicked in the arm."

Eisler said Walker began to scare her.

"For the next hour or two he continued to tell me how he should beat the crap out of me and burn down my apartment," she said.

She texted her neighbor to call police, and Walker was arrested for spousal abuse and for fighting with the police who came to make the arrest.

She has not seen him since, but believes he is behind the cyber attack that's turned her life upside down.

The fake Facebook page had pictures she shared only with Walker, and the cell phone number Walker had.

"The number he thought he had," she pointed out. "I changed it last week."

Eisler also found more fake profile pages on other social networking sites, and in every case, it told people where they could find her.

"I'm still afraid to get on most sites on the Internet," she admitted. "I recently had to cancel my account with Café Mom because someone is stalking me on there."

Eisler believes her ex hacked into her email address and posed as her when he requested her electricity to be turned off. She lives in an apartment complex, and did not experience any power loss but the bills were going to her landlord.

Eisler saved everything she could when she found the fakes, including an instant-message dialogue she had with Walker Monday night. She asked him to leave her alone and Walker replied he did not know what she what talking about.

He also wrote, "If you think you are going through hell, get used to it, and get ready to go deeper."

That comment made Eisler fear for her safety and the safety of her kids. She is seeking a restraining order for when Walker returns to Kern County for his next court hearing.

Eisler has filed a report with Bakersfield Police about the online harassment, and now a detective has been assigned to the case.

17 News took Eisler's information to Supervising Deputy District Attorney Terry Pelton, who is well-versed in cyber law.

"If the facts are as presented, and if those facts can be proven, then several code sections have been violated," he said of Eisler's case.

Pelton said they are hacking (Penal Code 502.c.2), cyberstalking (PC 653.2), annoying through computer (PC 653m), and stalking (PC 646.9).

Pelton has successfully prosecuted a cyberstalking case where a Delano man created a fake profile of his ex-wife. Pelton said the man posed as the ex-wife and said she had a fantasy of wanting to be raped. The man also gave out the woman's phone number and address.

"Someone showed up at her door," he said.

What is happening to Eisler is not uncommon, and very dangerous, Pelton said.

"It encourages some real sicko out there to come find the woman."

Both the Bakersfield Police Department and Pelton encourage Eisler to keep saving proof of the online harassment.

Pelton also reminds the public of his rule of thumb for social networking: "If you post something you don't want to show your mother at the dinner table, don't post it."

No comments: