Friday, March 08, 2013
Ex-Boyfriend Sued For Cyber Harassment
by Alexis Shaw
A Virginia woman is suing her ex-boyfriend after he tormented her and her teenage daughter by posting their photos on prostitution sites, sending dozens of men to their home, and distributing nude photos of the woman to her co-workers, her daughter and her daughter's friends.
The year long harassment caused the woman to lose her job in a bank and forced her to change her name, the woman's complaint states. ABC News is withholding the woman's new name.
Soraida Hicks' ex-boyfriend, Bruce Stimon, pleaded guilty in December 2012 to stalking, felony identity theft, and extortion. He was sentenced on Jan. 25 to three years in prison.
Now Hicks and her daughter Pam, 16, have filed a $20 million civil suit against Stimon. She is claiming slander, libel, and infliction of emotional distress, according to court documents.
"I didn't think that he was going to be crazy," Hicks told ABC Washington D.C. affiliate WJLA. Hicks could not be reached for comment by ABCNews.com.
Hicks and Stimon, who is 46, met on a plane traveling from Boston to Washington in the fall of 2011, and the two started a long-distance relationship. Hicks lives in Arlington, Va., and Stimon lived in Kensington, N.H.
According to Hicks' attorney, David Shurtz, Stimon showered Hicks with gifts, even buying Hicks an iPhone and paying for her service on his family plan.
But Shurtz said Stimon used the iPhone as a way to make himself the only man in her life, and he gained access to Hicks' contacts and emails in order to control her.
According to the complaint, "the gift was a deliberate plot to surreptitiously keep track of all the contacts and comings and goings of [Hicks]."
Hicks was unaware of her boyfriend's monitoring until January 2012 when she learned that Stimon "had created a web site advertising her services as a prostitute," according to the complaint. At the time Hicks was in Paraguay visiting her parents, a trip Stimon had financed.
Stimon posted Hicks' name and address, as well as her photos, on web sites advertising prostitution, and listed Hicks' supervisor at her workplace as her point of contact, the complaint states.
"He was creating an artificial theory so that he would be the only man she would contact," Shurtz said. "And the theory was that she was under a cyber attack. And he came to her and said, 'Ah ha! I will be your white knight and I will stop the cyber attack.'"
Instead, Hicks broke up with Stimon and reported the harassment to the Arlington County Police Department.
"From January to probably about March, we were just trying to compile information and figure out what was going on," said Det. Angela Comer of the Arlington County Police Department.
Stimon's cyber attacks escalated. He sent explicit photographs of Hicks to her friends and co-workers, causing Hicks to lose her job as a financial sales consultant at a bank, according to the complaint.
He created a fake Twitter account and sent videos of Hicks and himself having sex to Hicks' daughter and her daughters' friends. The videos were taken without Hicks' consent, the complaint said. It also stated that Stimon also advertised both mother and daughter for sex, sending men to her apartment nearly 60 times.
The investigation involved several sections of the Arlington County Police Department.
"The commonwealth attorneys, the tactical unit, just about every unit in our department had a hand on this case," Comer said.
Comer said Hicks filed a protective order against Stimon in June 2012. When he came to court to dispute the order, he was arrested for "stalking, unlawful filming, and use of a person's identity to harass," but was released on bond a few months later, Comer said.
Woman Sues Ex-Boyfriend for Cyber Harassment
Police tried to keep Hicks' phone number a secret from Stimon, but it frequently needed to be changed as Stimon would figure it out and harass Hicks, Comer said.
In November police caught Stimon slashing Hicks' car tires near her home. He was arrested and charged with destruction of property, stalking, and violating the protective order Hicks had filed against him.
"What was so devastating to Mr. Stimon was that when he was caught, his computer and cell phone were in his car, and they became evidence," said Shurtz.