OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY
WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
JOHN F. WOOD
Contact Don Ledford, Public Affairs ● (816) 426-4220 ● 400 East Ninth Street, Room 5510 ● Kansas City, MO 64106
JANUARY 7, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
KC MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO CYBERSTALKING
FALSE WEB SITE ADS INVITED STRANGERS TO
VICTIM’S HOME FOR SEXUAL ENCOUNTERS
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – John F. Wood, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Kansas City, Mo., man pleaded guilty in federal court today to cyberstalking.
Shawn D. Memarian, 29, of Kansas City, pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert E. Larsen this afternoon to using the Internet – including e-mails and Web site postings – to cause substantial emotional distress to his victim and place her in fear of death or serious bodily injury.
Memarian, who worked a civilian software application developer for a defense contractor at the United States military installation at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., met his victim online and they dated for approximately a month during June and July 2006. The victim, a Gladstone, Mo., woman, later moved to Colorado. Memarian admitted that, after she broke off their relationship, he used a variety of aliases and e-mail accounts to conduct his harassment and intimidation of the victim.
Between late July 2006 and September 2006, Memarian, who was posing as the victim, created two online personal ads purporting to seek male suitors for the victim. Memarian posted these false personal ads on Myspace.com and Craigslist.com. Memarian posted the victim’s phone number and home address in these ads. Memarian also described the victim as a “sex freak.”
The victim received phone calls and personal visits from the online suitors, who were responding to Memarian’s false personal ads for sexual encounters. In fact, between Aug. 1 and Sept. 28, 2006, the victim had approximately 30 unknown men arrive at her home in response to Memarian’s e-mails and ads. Many of the visits were at night when the victim was home alone.
Memarian posted additional personal ads on Craigslist.com, Facebook.com and Myspace.com for the purpose of threatening, intimidating or injuring the victim. Memarian also created a Web site on Geocities.com to threaten the victim.
Memarian sent more than 75 threatening e-mails between August 2006 and May 9, 2008. Memarian’s threatening e-mails continued until the date of his arrest on May 9, 2008. Memarian sent many of these threatening e-mails from his work e-mail account.
The cyberstalking began in July 2006, when Memarian sent threatening e-mail messages to the victim. After being told by the victim that she was saving his e-mails for law enforcement, Memarian wrote back: “Yes good thing .... you don’t recall who I used to date I take it.” Memarian was referring to his claims that he had previously dated the granddaughter of an Italian organized crime family. Memarian subsequently created an alias by the name of Sal Civella to threaten the victim with the fear of physical and financial harm that would be dealt by an organized crime family.
Memarian threatened the victim with physical, emotional and financial harm through e-mail messages and online postings in order to “get even” with the victim. Memarian admitted that his purpose was to intimidate her into: (1) reimbursing him $76 for the cost of one of their dates; (2) reimbursing him half the cost of an attorney he retained to defend himself in connection with the orders of protection the victim sought against him; and (3) returning personal effects he had loaned or given to her during their relationship.
Under federal statutes, Memarian is subject to a sentence of up to five years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $250,000 and an order of restitution. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney John E. Cowles. It was investigated by the Gladstone, Mo., Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
This news release, as well as additional information about the office of the United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, is available on-line at