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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of New York

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Michigan Man Indicted on Charges of Cyberstalking and Production of Child Pornography

BUFFALO, N.Y.– U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that a
federal grand jury has indicted James S. Allen, 36, of New Baltimore, MI, on 18 counts of
cyberstalking and five counts of production of child pornography. The production of child
pornography charges carry a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in prison, a maximum
penalty of 30 years, and a $250,000 fine for each count. The cyberstalking charge carries a
maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron J. Mango, who is handling the case, stated that
according to indictment, between April and August of 2012, the defendant utilized the
internet and text messages to stalk, communicate with, and threaten 18 female victims in the
Western District of New York, many of them minors, in an effort to obtain pornographic
pictures of the minors. The complaint filed earlier in the case alleges that Allen contacted the
victims and told them that he found naked pictures of them on the internet. The defendant
then directed the victims to a specific website to view the pictures. In reality, the website was
a front – or “phishing site” - by which the defendant sought to surreptitiously obtain the
victim’s private e-mail address and password.

Once the targeted victim input the requested information, the victim’s personal e-mail
addresses and passwords went straight to the defendant via the internet. The defendant
thereafter seized control of the victim’s e-mail accounts, contacted the victims, and
threatened that if they did not engage in a Skype video chat with him, he would distribute
naked photos of the victims over the internet. Once a victim and the defendant logged onto
Skype (the defendant utilized the screen name “shhh.shhh”), Allen demanded that the victims
take their clothes off and engage in sexual conduct, with the further threat that naked pictures
of them would be sent out to all of Western New York if the girl did not comply. As a result
of the defendant's repeated and sustained harassment of the victims, many victims suffered
substantial emotional distress.

U.S. Attorney Hochul stated that “It is appropriate that the grand jury returned this
case in January, which is National Stalking Awareness Month. According to the National
Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey released by the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention in late 2011, 6.6 million people were stalked in a 12-month period and 1 in 6
women and 1 in 19 men were stalked at some point in their lifetime. These statistics certainly
demonstrate that anyone can be a victim of stalking, but that women and girls are three times
more likely to be stalked than men. As shown by the present case, statistics also indicate that
young adults have the highest rate of stalking victimization.”

U.S. Attorney Hochul continued “another message that the public needs to recognize
is that most stalking cases involve some form of technology. According to available reports,
more than three-quarters of stalking victims received unwanted phone calls, voice and text
messages, and one-third of victims were watched, followed, or tracked with a listening or
other device. These findings underscore the critical need for the public to understand how
stalkers and other criminals use technology.”

U.S. Attorney Hochul concluded “The public, in particular parents, need to continue
to be vigilant is the use of both computers and cellular telephones. While modern
communication and technology provide benefits to many, in the hands of criminals, the same
instruments sometimes lead to potentially dangerous, even deadly situations. Keep these
simple tips in mind: beware of strangers or individuals you don’t know who approach you
online; do not post personal or identifying information online; and carefully monitor your
accounts to prevent hacking or other related issues.”

The indictment is the culmination of an investigation on the part of Special Agents of
the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Christopher M. Piehota, Special
Agent in Charge and the Kenmore Police Department, under the direction of Chief Peter

The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and
the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

Updated November 18, 2014